Location Scout Spotlight: Red Hook, Brooklyn, NY


Location Scout Spotlight: Red Hook, a neighborhood of the Boro of Brooklyn, NY (New York City, NY)

Recently, while doing some location scouting, I had the opportunity to explore the Brooklyn, NY neighborhood known as Red Hook.

I just love Red Hook’s textures and colorful past (present and future… 😉 so it was hardly “work” having to spend several hours on a gorgeous, clear summer day wandering around Red Hook on Van Brunt Street and other areas like Coffey Park and to the end of Columbia St, by where the old NY Shipyard used to be (now Ikea, for better or worse…).

Possibly film locations in the Red Hook, Brooklyn area

Red Hook Brooklyn Coffey Park © nyc.locationscout.us

Red Hook Brooklyn Coffey Park © nyc.locationscout.us



Location Scout Spotlight: Red Hook, Brooklyn, NY Flickr Photo Feed

Brooklyn Paper

Brooklyn Paper

Location Scout Quandary – Ikea in Red Hook

The Brooklyn Paper / May 31, 2008 / News / Not Just Nets / Carroll Gardens–Cobble Hill / Red Hook Ikea / Red Hook Ikea prepares for auto onslaught | By Mike McLaughlin | The Brooklyn Paper

Ikea has added hundreds of parking spaces to its Red Hook store in advance of the hotly anticipated opening on Wednesday, June 18, which is expected to draw a cavalcade of shoppers that will continue for months.”

I hereby declare Red Hook “gentrified” with regard, as reported above, that the new Ikea will open June 18th, 2008.

I have written elsewhere on nyc.locationscout.us about the changing face of Red Hook and other areas in the New York metro. (Take a peak at The Brooklyn Paper’s photo that accompanies the story above – also here is a Google Images search result for “Ikea Red Hook”. My own post mentioned above, Final Days, has photos of the Ikea property when it was the New York Shipyard.

Arguably, the Shipyard was more fertile ground for location scouts, no?

…alas, one finds, with the wisdom of age, that the only thing constant in life is change. I’ve tried to learn to accept this and grow from the knowledge.



Google News search “Ikea Red Hook”

Gothamist - Revere Sugar Refinery

Gothamist – Revere Sugar Refinery

Location Scouting: Final Days of the Red Hook Revere Sugar Refinery

A Last Look Inside the Revere Sugar Refinery …in Red Hook, Brooklyn, that is.

via Gothamist and BlueJake:

Another photographer and I visited the Revere Sugar Refinery on Sunday, the day before real demolition began. We documented the interior of the iconic cone, and explored throughout the buildings in the complex. If you are interested in doing an article about our visit to the place, please contact me. You can see our photos here:



Revere Sugar Refinery photos

Mercurian’s Revere Sugar Refinery photos

Our best shot of Revere can be found at BlueJake.

You really have to see their photos of the Revere Sugar Refinery to appreciate this post.

I have location scouted this place, as have many other New York City area location scouts over the years since the sugar refinery ceased refining operations. I dont know exactly when it closed for refining business, but it was definitely before my time.

One of the interesting details I remember about the sugar refinery is the sunken ship. I wonder what has/will become of the sunken ship?

I have my OWN photos of the sugar refinery “somewhere” from when I was last there in, maybe like, 1999 (?)

In 1999 most of us still did our location scouting with film cameras and color prints (we are all pretty much all digital now) and when I put my location scouting folder together, like a good location scout, I gave all my photos to the photographer I was working for. The irony is, that same photographer decided to do some spring-cleaning a year or so back and asked me if I wanted their location library (which I was delighted to get, even tho it was three giant banker boxes full of of manila folders and prints!)

…so I have the pics- “somewhere”.

I never went back to the sugar refinery because, maybe a year after the first time I was there I called to make an appointment to location scout it for another job and the cranky old security guard (what was that guy’s name?) He was there just about every day for years.

…but I digress- I called the guy and he told me he wasnt doing any more location scout tours, the location scouts “wasted all his time and never booked shoots there” (like he had somewhere else to be?)

Anyway after that I wrote off the sugar refinery as a waste of research time and never called them again although I did hear, sometime later, maybe earlier in 2006(?), that the sugar refinery was tourable and shootable.

All of which is pretty much moot; according to Jake Dobkin, “The iconic dome of Red Hook’s Revere Sugar Refinery will probably disappear sometime in the next couple of weeks.”

…which is a shame to a location scout like myself- We location scouts survive by continually being able to pull visually interesting places such as the sugar refinery out of our hats for film directors and photographers; so, a landmark such as the Revere Sugar Refinery being demolished always makes my job just a little harder.

It’s been a tough past year or so… Admittedly, my vision of the state-of-affairs-for-old-ruined-property-around-New-York-City is skewed :

Another Red Hook icon, The New York Shipyard, went away in 2005. I blogged about it here.

There was a BIG, very suspicious fire in Greenpoint this past summer that took a significant portion of the Greenpoint Terminal.

Sometimes you just want a little grunge in your life!

St Francis Hospital in Jersey City, NJ didnt really fall into the category of “old-ruined-property-around-New-York-City”, in fact, it was pretty convincing for a film location as a modern hospital. Saint Francis Hospital was recently sold to real estate developers. Reportedly it will be demolished and condos built in it’s place.


NYT - Location Scouting Guerilla Style in Brooklyn

NYT – Location Scouting Guerilla Style in Brooklyn

Location Scouting Guerilla Style in Brooklyn

NY Times: Have Camera, Will Trespass, on Brooklyn’s Waterfront

By Sewell Chan | July 31, 2008, 11:00 am

Nathan Kensinger generally does not ask for permission when he photographs the decaying remnants of Brooklyn’s industrial waterfront. Since 2003, he has wandered into shuttered factories, padlocked basements and forbidding warehouses. He often goes along with other photographers who have an adventurous bent. He hasn’t been arrested, yet, but he doesn’t want to tempt fate, either.

read more

In reality, there is quite a bit more to location scouting than just “getting in” a location – in fact, that is just the beginning … Location Scouting at Wikipedia …but, then, the Times story wasn’t really about location scouting anyway, altho, it is mentioned that Nathan is a location scout for Law and Order

That said, there is no intent to detract from the motivation and beauty of Nathan’s photography, which is quite impressive!

NYT - Brooklyn’s Industrial Side

NYT – Brooklyn’s Industrial Side

View a slideshow: NY Times | Brooklyn’s Industrial Side | by Nathan Kensinger

Of Likely Further Interest:

Location Scout R. Richard Hobbs - nyc.locationscout.us

Location Scout R. Richard Hobbs – nyc.locationscout.us

nyc.locationscout.us content search “Red Hook”



nyc.locationscout.us Google Custom Search “Red Hook”



NYT City Feed



Wikipedia | Red Hook, Brooklyn

…Red Hook’s current eclectic mix of living artists and industrial businesses create a neighborhood coined “Residustrial” in 2008 by artist and resident John P. Missale. Red Hook also contains several parks, including Red Hook Park. In the spring of 2006, the new Carnival Cruise Lines Terminal, more formally the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, opened at Pier 12 at Pioneer Street, Red Hook, bringing additional tourists to Brooklyn.

read more



Brooklyn, NY at Amazon