The U.S. Window Factory, of shrill-nasal-voiced-Brooklynese-woman-and-high-pitched-fast-talking-spokesman radio-ad fame, is a real place. It’s on Atlantic Avenue in Richmond Hill, Queens, down the street, fittingly, from the Queens Auto Mall — You Are Already Approved! — and a couple of blocks from Phil Rizzuto Park, where the Scooter’s ghost still pitches for the Money Store.
Early this morning, a couple of workers outside were tossing old windows into a Dumpster. It looked like fun.
But the Window Factory building itself — nice windows, by the way, vinyl, Energy Star-rated, except for the plywooded-over ones that blew out in the tornado — was locked up tight. The gates were down, and in the showroom, 10,000 normally gleaming square feet of window displays and efficient saleswomen at desk stations, all was darkness.
“Due to landlord’s building violations our showroom is temporarily closed” said a big sign on the outside. A fine-print notice from the Department of Buildings dated Sept. 21 elaborated. “It is hereby ordered that all persons occupying any parts of the structure located at Entire Building vacate such part or parts of the premises forthwith,” it read, warning of “imminent danger to life and public safety” and adding:
A (3) story commercial building has been illegally converted from storage to furniture factory at cellar. First floor occupied as window factory. Second floor occupied as garment factory. Entire building’s sprinkler system removed. Standpipes not operating. Entire building at cellar, first, second and third floors has no secondary means of egress.
In the parking lot, one of the window factory’s owners, Gino Orange, supervised as workers transferred a load of double-hungs from one truck to another. Mr. Orange said that the problem lay with the intransigence of the building’s owner, Amir Rotlevi of A.F.C. Industries in College Point, Queens.