The big ugly Kentile sign, emblem of a lost industrial Brooklyn and Instagram subject for commuters coming to and from their much more beautiful neighborhoods, is done: The scaffolding has gone up, the letters are coming down.
Who is nostalgic for Kentile, the company that manufactured asbestos-laden flooring and collapsed under the weight of lawsuits two decades ago? Nobody: This is about the object. The sign's appeal was that it was very large and conspicuously old, and it had decayed, naturally, just so, in a location where such a thing would never be built today. It is the most general possible signifier of change and history, and one more [...]