Greenpoint Wastewater Treatment Plant

The largest wastewater treatment facility in New York City is also one of the City’s most striking properties.  Massive digester eggs sparkle in the industrial landscape of northern Brooklyn.  On assignment for TIME, we got the better part of a day to wander about the grounds with Jim Pynn, the plant superintendent.

Jim showed us how the whole thing works, from sewage in, to fresh water out.  Via glass enclosed catwalks, we toured the tops of the giant digester eggs (noting more than a faint smell of sulfur). We were more overwhelmed by the technological virtuosity and aesthetic beauty of these Fabregé-esque beauties than the actual dirty work done inside.

The genius behind making a public nuisance into a point of local pride fell on Ennead Architects, whose design garnered two design awards and served as a showcase, visible to any New Yorker travelling between Brooklyn and Queens on the BQE.

Whenever I fly into La Guardia, I am always happy to see the gleaming digester eggs, as they signal that mine is the next exit.

6 Responses to “Greenpoint Wastewater Treatment Plant”
  1. Babygirl says:

    I have to say, your eye is amazing. These shots look amazing and the building definitely looks modern and wonderful. I really enjoyed reading this post.

  2. Jim Pynn says:

    After working at the plant for the past 19 years I have had the pleasure of watching it’s transformation. I am so proud of the beautiful form and the much neccessary function of this facility. It never grows old, and after seeing your amazing photos Sean, I can understand why the rest of the city feels that way.
    Keep it up….Jim Pynn

  3. katherine says:

    thanks for the inspiration…i learned something new today. only a discerning eye can transform a digester egg into jewelry.

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