The Cyc Studio is the engine of COLONY Studios Brooklyn. Meticulously designed as a fully functional photo studio, it still retains the natural ambience of the original warehouse space.
We believe in the relevance of a right environment for artists to realize their visions. We provide a unique space with immense potential, and production resources for projects of any scale. We created COLONY Studios Brooklyn to be a unique space that is conducive to the creative spark.
Here at COLONY Studios Brooklyn, we’re extremely interested in what we called The Contemporary Phenomena. We’re looking for singular moments in society- occasions when people, ideas, and events intersect, that demand time and space. Movements that are happening concurrently in cultures all around; notions that are not yet shaped, defined or established, but are surely taking form.
This fascination with The Contemporary Phenomena is why we are located in Brooklyn. In our community, we are constantly discovering new talent and creative dynamism brewing beneath the surface of mainstream culture. There is always something new, authentic and experiential in this part of town where rules constantly played with.
With this in mind, we found an empty, formerly abandoned warehouse, and shaped it into our vision of Brooklyn's creative scene.
Welcome to COLONY Studios Brooklyn.
COLONY Studios is located in Greenpoint, the northernmost neighborhood in the New York City borough of Brooklyn.
Greenpoint has over the years been home to industry, riots, artists, squatters, and to one of the largest single disaster fires in New York City. Here the crosswalks are for sissies, classic apartments are walk-ups, loud is the default sound level, and burly men of a certain vintage still wear sleeveless undershirts in public.
Greenpoint’s own historic district boasts over 300 buildings. COLONY Studios has found its place in one of them- The Greenpoint Terminal Market at 67 West Street, a piece of the historic complex of warehouses on the Brooklyn Waterfront. Once home to the largest rope making factory in the US- the American Manufacturing Company- the complex covered 14 acres and six city blocks, with buildings dating back to 1890.
When you work at COLONY Studios, you’re tapping into a rich history of supreme bad-assery (our definition: Awesome to an extreme level, thereby leveraging unquestionable authority.) At the height of its success, the American Manufacturing Company employed over 2,500 workers, and – like the nearby American Sugar Refining Company (aka The Domino Sugar Refinery)- was an important part of the struggle to unionize the Brooklyn waterfront. In 1910, striking employees battled police in a huge riot right outside where COLONY Studios now resides. Stones were hurled and heads were broken, but the people got their way in the end. Now that’s the spirit!
Despite this compelling scene, it wasn’t long until the work, and the workers, had moved away. The Greenpoint Terminal Marker was almost completely empty by the 1980s, a true relic of Greenpoint’s industrial past. In the 90s and early 2000s, the buildings, enormous and vacant, became home to more creative expressions, serving as a site of secret all night parties, generator powered punk rock shows, urban exploration, raccoons, possums, feral dog packs, and a homeless community. It was during this period the building earned the name Forgotten City.
Sadly, much of the Forgotten City was destroyed in 2007 by a catastrophic 10-alarm fire. Visible for miles, it clouded above New York City with black smoke. Over 350 firefighters spent all day at the fire, those in front retreating to safety when entire walls crumbled and launched smoldering red bricks 100 feet down the narrow streets of the waterfront.
Thanks to our hardworking hosers, the fire was eventually put out, and somewhere along the line COLONY Studios found its place, in a surviving building made of brick, wood and steel. And we feel thankful for it.