Breeze blocks for sale in Schenectady, New York — six designs, maybe more!

breeze block in new yorkWhere to buy concrete breeze blocks in New York, New England and the Northeast? Because of my big story, I got an email and called back and voila: Dagostino Building Blocks of Schenectady, New York — just northwest of Albany — sells at least six designs of breeze blocks! Great news for breeze block hunters on the East Coast, where there are only a few suppliers!

breeze blocks new yorkYes: This fourth-generation family-owned, 97-year-old company sold breeze blocks back in the day, and they still make and sell breeze blocks today. Dec. 2019 pdate: The blocks are now on their website. Originally in this story, the images from their 1960s catalog were only place you can see them online. Some days here at Retro Renovation are just more exciting than others, what can I say! Let’s take a look at all the breeze block beauteousness >>

breeze blocks where to buy

Ken Dagostino Sr., a company co-owner, is the one who found and emailed me, and I then called him right back, I had so many questions. It was so much fun to talk to him. Like me, he seemed to be both amused and happy about the resurgence in the popularity of breeze blocks. Yes, breeze blocks came — then they went — and now they are back again!  And he still has the forms to make them! I believe the story is: The forms are very expensive to make.

breeze blocks east coast new york massachusetts connecticut new jersey

Ken says that Dagostino Building Blocks has been making these blocks continuously for decades. The style they sell the most is 2094. (I call these cloverleaf and indeed, they seem to have been very common then and still are, now.)

ornamental blockNote, I do not *think* I’ve seen a rectangular 1369 like the one above in anyone else’s stock, so I *think* this now puts my mega list of where to buy breeze blocks today up to:

ways to use breeze block

While only six designs are shown in the 1960s catalog, Ken believes that he has many more “forms” … somewhere. He laughed when I said: Yes, another example of why we tend to find the best time capsule finds at longtime family-owned companies — it’s easier for them to throw stuff in the warehouse and let it sit than, to pay to dispose of it. Dig, Ken, dig, and find us MORE breeze block forms to start using again!

A lot of breeze blocks sold in New York City 

breeze block wall inside houseKen is a “Sr.” in the family-owned company, so yes, he remembers when these were popular back in the day.

We used to sell tons.

Where did you sell them? 

We sold a lot into New York City. A lot. A LOT

So, you sold a lot?

“Yes, a lot.

As you can maybe tell, this news that there is a 97-year-old company in Schenectady, New York, still making breeze blocks, and they actually emailed me, and now they we are on the phone, is making me very happy (on an already very sparkly gorgeous Berkshire Mountains Day.)

I will also take this opportunity to point out that: Talking to people on the phone, including interviewing them by phone, is super way more fun and enlightening and energizing than merely sending questions by email. Even better: Visit in person. I need to remember this. Sending email questions is too easy and, as a result, less good stuff comes out of it.  

breeze blocks inside house

Above: An illustration of breeze blocks shown used inside the house.

But be aware, dear readers, that these are ORNAMENTAL blocks. It is my understanding that they are not STRUCTURAL blocks. That is, they are not meant to be load bearing. They are meant to be pretty, and to be installed so that even as pretty decorative elements they don’t tumble down and hurt someone. So use them/install them accordingly — safely. And as I am known to say: I am not the expert, so get with pros to plan how to incorporate these blocks safely into your design plans.

A lot of breeze blocks for New York and neighboring New England — hooray!

breeze blocks for new england in schnectady new york

Schenectady is the red pin in Google Maps.

Note: There are also breeze blocks sellers in a few other Northeast locations. See the big list.

breeze blocks new england east coastI live within an hour of Schenectady and have been to Schenectady and Schenectady is in my news zone — so, if I don’t think too hard I can usually spell ‘Schenectady’ correctly without looking it up. Yowza, DH and may just need to start figuring out were we can incorporate some in our front or back yard, seeing (1) as we could hire a U-Haul and go get ’em and save on shipping and (2) we could actually drive over in advance and see what we were buying before we ordered. Ken says blocks should run about $3-$5 each depending on the color and finish (smooth, polished or blasted) you choose. Yes, you can get these not only in concrete gray, but in special mix colors like white. Ken says that back in the day, they sold a lot in white to New York. A. Lot. 

Also, Ken talked to me about shipping. It might not be as expensive as you’d think. He says that shipping costs via flat bed these days are not necessarily out-of-reach. So that might be a viable way to go and to save (1) axle and (2) your back at the same time. 

Many thanks to Dagostino Building Blocks for letting us know: They sell make and sell breeze blocks out of Schenectady, New York! Thanks also for letting me show the catalog — as of this moment, the only place on the entire world wide web that you can see images from their catalog!

Where to buy these breeze blocks aka screen blocks aka ornamental block:

  1. Wendellyn Plummer says:

    When we purchased our MCM we also inherited a stash of these blocks. I could not figure out when they came from until now! There had once been a pool in the backyard. Viola! That has to be where the blocks came from, as a surround for the pool. Mystery solved! I must say, I love these blocks and the designs.

  2. carolyn says:

    Something is tickling my brain that I recently saw a craft to make a bench out of a few blocks and wood. “Recent” and “saw” are relative terms – I’d say in the last 6 months and I don’t think it was in my old publications nor Pinterest but a magazine. Regardless, that is an idea if you only had a few blocks and didn’t know what to do with them.

  3. Mod Betty says:

    OMG this is so exciting!!!!!! Thank you Pam for writing and maintaining that original article, so that people like this find you and know that we “blockheads” are out there 🙂 /

    I love that there are not only potential custom colors – white is better than grey of course – but custom finishes? Swoon!

    I’m putting a pin in my Retro Roadmap of NY State for them right now and will be planning a roadtrip there soon~ as I say to Cliff / Retro Roadhusband, if we can’t move to Palm Springs, lets make our Pennsylvania pad a litte more PAlm Springsy 🙂

  4. lynda says:

    I recently saw one of those house flipper shows on HGTV in Las Vegas. They used these blocks as a privacy wall in front of a large bedroom window that faced the street. It looked very nice. It was a very mid-century modern ranch house. Good find, and a fun look for some houses.

  5. Ms. Vel-Vida says:

    This is super exciting to find out! Dagostino is barely a mile from my house. I’ve been meaning to get over there and see if they had any decorative blocks for my landscaping. Now that I know they have these I might have to rethink the design for my outdoor living space and incorporate some.

  6. Pam Kueber says:

    Wow, lucky you! If DH and I do make it over there some time I’ll try to remember to email you to see if we can meet up!

  7. RAnderson says:

    Awesome!! We live only 2.5 hrs away and have been thinking about adding a carport to our 1955 MCModest tiny rancher. We have glass blocks on both sides of the front door, and some breeze blocks on a carport would look so period appropriate. Sweet find!!

  8. Penelope says:

    Here in the High Desert in Unincorprated Area of Los Angeles
    County we have a lot of examples of these still around …and suppliers
    with quite a good variety of designs.
    The “Low Desert” Palm Springs area probably has many more suppliers
    SO sensible for our arid, very windy climate.

  9. Mary Anne says:

    These excite me greatly. Unfortunately I don’t get to see them but rarely in the Chicago region. There is like only a couple styles available at “big box” home stores. And the way they are used these days is very dismal and uninspiring. I am glad that other places appreciate these blocks as much as I do, and are doing creating, inspiring builds with them.

  10. DANIEL OKANE says:

    HOORAY for the northeast! I have a camp in upstate New York and have been searching for breeze blocks for one wall on my porch . . . . .I am so excited that there is somewhere local I can purchase. Thanks so much for your diligence! You continue to be my ‘go to’ for anything retro!

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