Via the New York Times, Alex Traub writes about Flavia Galuppo, who inherited her father’s tool and die business on Bond Street in Manhattan.
Before he died at the age of 100 in December, James Galuppo, founder and owner of Etna Tool & Die, urged his only child, Flavia, not to sell the company headquarters.
She might have considered that a significant sacrifice. New condos surround the building, 42-44 Bond Street, a chic block in Manhattan. A triplex is going for $13.5 million in one of them. The other is home to both Chuck Close and Warren Beatty.
In contrast to these cool glass and granite residences, 42-44 Bond is a tawny brick loft building. Its arched windows represent a classic feature of the late 19th century Renaissance Revival style. Some would say it could use an update. But at a glass-top desk in Etna’s office, underneath yellowing maps and black-and-white photographs, Ms. Galuppo, 55, pledged to preserve this history and honor her father’s wish, whatever the financial loss.
“I want to protect her for him,” Ms. Galuppo said, attributing a gender to her building like an old sea captain discussing a ship. “She’s also a member of the family, who’s withstood a lot of history and seen many things.”
Aside from D & D Salvage, the scrap metal dealer across the street, Etna Tool & Die seems to have been the last business in NoHo still doing the light industrial work that long gave the neighborhood its identity.
The shop closed two years ago. Since her father died, the factory space is Ms. Galuppo’s to use as she wishes, but she is not rushing to rent it out. Before seeking a new commercial tenant, she wants to find the right way to dispose of all the old equipment, file cabinets and other workplace detritus.
The morning also brought a reminder of Ms. Galuppo’s difficult task ahead — three fliers announcing liquidations of tool and die plants, which are being wiped out across the United States by a combination of new technology and outsourcing. Soon, Ms. Galuppo will have to figure out what to do with Etna’s many old machines.
“I almost feel like they’re being orphaned,” she said. “I want to make sure that these machines eventually find themselves a good home.”
When Ms. Galuppo disposes of everything, there will, actually, be one piece of evidence left testifying to Etna’s glory days. After 9/11, when 10 firefighters at the nearby Great Jones Street firehouse were killed, its captain asked Mr. Galuppo to make a miniature of the Twin Towers. He fabricated two aluminum pillars and a die to stamp them with thousands of replicas of windows.
One copy remains at 42-44 Bond. Others were distributed among New York’s firehouses. At the fire captain’s insistence, it was the only object Mr. Galuppo signed: “Made in New York City by Etna Tool & Die.”