By Nicholas Kalis
Seventeenth in a series of glimpses into industries or warehouses that made for interesting freight operations on the Long Island. Information presented has included, where available, a brief history of the firm, how it was served by the LIRR, and what commodities were received or shipped from this facility.
Maps of Freight Stations and Private Sidings (1966), page 2, puts West (Spots 13a and 13b), located in Long Island City, facing Yard A. Spot 13b was the shipping department and had its own siding. The Hyde Atlas, Queens Vol. 1, updated through 1955, places this building to its west known as Spot 13a bounded by Yard A, Orchard Street, and West Street (formerly Barn Street). Spot 13b was bound by Queens Boulevard, Yard A, and West Street. Local phone directories list West’s address as 42-16 West Street. According to Carl Fabrizi, both of these buildings possess a West Street address.
Tank cars carried chemicals (of what source I must rely on our readers to fill in) into this facility by rail. J.J. Earl recalls that these tank cars were black and lettered TTTX. These tank cars originated in originating cities or towns yet to be uncovered from the industries whose names we have yet to uncover. Howie Waelder seems to recall that in the 1960s disinfectants were shipped out by box cars. Empties may have also left this facility by rail. The Stink Track took its name from the disinfectants manufactured here. According to Richard F. Makse, West manufactured Pine Sol disinfectant.
A five-story poured concrete structure -marked by a siding entering the building - housed the manufacturing plant known variously as "CN Building", "West Chemical Products", or "West Disinfectants". Spot 13b featured a arched roof parapet on its east side with a truncated corner. An angled structure, likely containing a conveyor belt connects the building (Spot 13b) from its left side to a brick/poured concrete three-story building sporting a CN logo in relief. This logo building (Spot 13a) was painted white.
In all there were three buildings. West’s shipping department (Spot 13b) was yet another attached two-story building of poured concrete/cinder block construction with a flat roof. Spot 13b was painted white or beige in the 1960s.
I have built a foam core mock-up of this building. Readers with wishing to model Spot 13a would be wise to consider starting with Geo Roberts Printing Inc. marketed under the Walthers name and catalogued as 933-3046. Modelers would need to modify this kit to depict a poured concrete first floor with tracks entering the building.
Thanks to Richard F. Makse, Howie Waelderr, Carl Fabrizi, and Bill Myers
Author Unknown Maps of Freight Stations and Private Sidings (Reprint) June 1966