How The Bronx Became the Last Home of Acrylic Furniture Manufacturing in NYC

At the height of its popularity, NYC had up to 20 factories manufacturing acrylic furniture.

Now, only one remains and it’s right here in the West Farms area of The Bronx.

Plexi-Craft manufactures furniture pieces costing thousands of dollars mostly for a high end market.

The New York Times has a fascinating story on how The Bronx became the last outpost of this industry.

They write:

Undeterred, Mr. Kretschman completed his purchase of the company in June 2016. The first order of business was to find Plexi-Craft a new home. The company had been bought out of its lease in Long Island City, which housed both the showroom and the factory.

Mr. Kretschman selected the New York Design Center at 32nd Street and Lexington for the showroom. For the factory, he signed a 10-year lease on an 8,500-square-foot space in the Bronx’s economically challenged West Farms area. It was affordable, convenient for employees and visiting designers, and it was close to public transportation and highways.

Perhaps most important, Mr. Kretschman said, “I wanted to be able to continue to say ‘Made in New York City.’”

Plexi-Craft is tucked among a sanitation cleaning station and a high-rise housing complex that’s under construction. It currently employs 18 people, including Phillip Sookhai, the shop manager. Mr. Sookhai started as a machinist 24 years ago. He said that while quality and efficiency have improved over the years, the manufacturing process has changed little, and that makes all the difference in the final product.

Read the full story at The New York Times.

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Ed García Conde

Ed García Conde is a life-long Bronxite who spends his time documenting the people, places, and things that make the borough a special place in the hopes of dispelling the negative stereotypes associated with The Bronx. His writings are often cited by mainstream media and is often consulted for his expertise on the borough's rich history.