Warehouse Construction in Port Reading

Construction is underway on two enormous warehouses on Middlesex Avenue in Port Reading. On the day I drove past, prefabricated walls more than 50 feet in height were held weightlessly in place by steel arms with an attractive rusted patina. As the autumn sun set, the arms cast dramatic shadows across the vertical surfaces as cranes rested overhead. In addition to being struck by the monumental volume of the space about to be enclosed, I was intrigued by the modularity of the construction method. This type of space is clearly meant to be affordable and efficient, assembled, not built. Located in a floodplain just a few feet above the waters of the Arthur Kill, the whole thing feels provisional by design — simultaneously epic in scale and a temporary way station in the constantly adapting global circulation of wholesale goods.