For this week’s Epstein Throwback Thursday we take a trip back to May 1964 for the opening of the new 125,000 square foot office and manufacturing facility for the Joe Lowe Corporation located in Englewood, New Jersey. This one-story modernist facility became the new headquarters and operations for the original ‘J-Lo’ after nearly 50 years based in a multi-story loft building in Manhattan. For those of you not familiar with Joe Lowe they were a bakery and ice cream supply business famous for the promotion of the Popsicle, after they acquired the rights to the invention and Popsicle brand from the inventor of this awesome frozen treat – Frank Epperson.
This particular Epstein facility was unique for a couple of reasons – for one, the building was built on a bog and required significant soil stabilization. The soil borings taken at the site indicated that the sub-soil consisted of six feet of unsuitable fill and vegetation resting on a bog that was 100 feet deep. Our soil solution was to strip the surface material and then replace with a combination of sand and gravel that was meticulously rolled in layers, compacted to maximum density and then the foundations for this building were constructed in this new controlled fill. This method eliminated the need for the extremely time consuming and expensive piling drilling option.
The other aspect of this project that was distinctive was that it featured significant design for our newly created interior design department. The transparent modern architecture of the office component to this facility allowed our interiors group the opportunity to allow the interior space to serve as a show piece to the outside world as the brilliant colors of the interior space (trust us, they were colorful) accented the walnut and teak furniture used throughout the executive suite.
If you are curious about the current state of this building – it’s not good news. Due to this building’s close proximity to the NYC, when Joe Lowe vacated the building, developers snatched up the property, demolished this little mid-century gem and developed luxury apartments. Well, at least it wasn’t just a parking lot.