Factory building padlocked in Brooklyn

Artists observed padlocking of 475 Kent Avenue
January 27, 2008 4:49:37 PM PST
The doors of a factory building in Brooklyn that had been home to an estimated 150 tenants are padlocked Sunday night.City officials say the illegal loft conversion is essentially a "firetrap" but those forced-out call it "home".

The building is located on Kent Avenue in Williamsburg.

Artists gathered to say goodbye to their apartment building in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, which has been deemed unsafe by he city.

The building at 475 Kent Avenue is padlocked. The building's former residents hold an observance to witness the shuttering of what has been described as a vibrant arts community.

The building was evacuated by the Fire Department of New York a week ago after a clandestine matzo bakery and silos of potentially dangerous grains were discovered in the basement.

The evacuation upended the lives of numerous artists who had flocked to the building for its relatively affordable prices.

The building is also zoned for commercial, not residential, purposes.