Earlier this week South Slope News posted a profile of Jennifer Kahrs, who has been running the Shadowbox framing shop since spring of '11. Before Shadowbox, 491 Sixth housed the Henington Press, in operation from 1912 to 2009. Kahrs is moving shortly, as the building is up for condo conversion. It will be a shame to see her go, and I hope she finds a more permanent home for her work. I imagine this will be the end of craftsman/artist tenants here, one in place three years shy of a century, the other for a two year blink of time. 491 is listed as having sold in 2009 for 2 million, and I thought it had already been converted last year, but I must have been mixing it up with 489, which had two bedroom condos listed at $1,350,000. Both 489 and 491 were built in 1890 as the Milton Apartments, model housing for Gowanus factory workers.
For more on the history of these buildings, read Ephemeral New York's post on the Milton Apartments, and Jeremiah's Vanishing New York on the Henington Press.