People’s Trust Company Building. Image Credit: LPC.
Elected officials and local residents urge Landmarks to designate 20th century financial-services-industry structures. On November 29, 2016, Landmarks held hearings on the possible individual landmark designations of two buildings built as banks in the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn. The People’s Trust Company Building, at 181 Montague Street, and the adjacent National Title Guaranty Company Building, at 185 Montague Street, are both part of Brooklyn’s “Bank Row.” Historic banking structures on the south side of Montague are protected as part of the 2011 Borough Hall Skyscraper Historic District. (read more…)
Opposition claimed that costs associated with designation would be too burdensome. The City Council approved Landmarks’ designation of the Borough Hall Skyscraper Historic District in Brooklyn. The district includes 21 buildings along Court, Montague, Remsen, Joralemon, and Livingston Streets.
Business groups and property owners, including the owners of 186 Remsen Street and the residents of 75 Livingston Street, opposed the district. At Landmarks’ public hearing in February 2011, they argued that some buildings in the district lacked architectural significance, and expressed concern about the financial impact of land-marking. Local Council Member Stephen Levin and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz supported the district, but asked Landmarks to consider removing 75 Livingston from its boundaries. In September 2011, Landmarks designated the district as originally proposed. 8 CityLand 142 (Oct. 15, 2011). (read more…)
Questions raised about Planning Commission’s authority when reviewing landmark designations. On November 16, 2011, the City Planning Commission approved Landmarks’ designation of the Borough Hall Skyscraper Historic District in downtown Brooklyn. The district comprises 21 buildings along Court, Montague, Remsen, Joralemon, and Livingston Streets, and is within the boundaries of the Special Downtown Brooklyn District established by the City in 2001.
At Landmarks’ public hearing on the proposed district in February 2011, residents of a co-op building at 75 Livingston Street and representatives from the Real Estate Board of New York and the Court-Livingston- Schermerhorn Business Improvement District testified in opposition. They argued that the historic district would have a negative financial impact on the neighborhood and included buildings unworthy of Landmarks’ protection. Elected officials including Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and local Council Member Stephen Levin supported the historic district’s establishment, but asked Landmarks to remove 75 Livingston Street. In September 2011, Landmarks unanimously approved the historic district with its original boundaries. 8 CityLand 142 (Oct. 15, 2011). (read more…)
Real estate and business groups opposed creating new historic district in downtown Brooklyn. On September 13, 2011, Landmarks unanimously approved the creation of the Borough Hall Skyscraper Historic District in downtown Brooklyn. The district comprises twenty one buildings along Court Street, bounded to the north and south by Montague and Livingston Streets. The area was developed primarily in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and became Brooklyn’s commercial core. Notable buildings in the district include Brooklyn Borough Hall, the Temple Bar Building, and a 22-story building at 32 Court Street considered to be Brooklyn’s first true skyscraper.
At Landmarks’ December 2010 public hearing, representatives from the Court-Livingston- Schermerhorn BID and the Real Estate Board of New York opposed the district. Elected officials including local Council Member Steven Levin supported the district, but requested that Landmarks remove a co-op building at 75 Livingston Street from the district. Brooklyn Law School also opposed the inclusion of one of its properties in the district. Brooklyn Community Board 2 and preservation groups supported designation. 8 CityLand 11 (Feb. 15, 2011). (read more…)
- Image: Courtesy LPC
Fear of demolition triggered hearing on six-story building within proposed Borough Hall Skyscraper Historic District. On January 4, 2011, Landmarks heard testimony on the potential designation of the Franklin Building at 186 Remsen Street as an individual City landmark. The vacant building is within the proposed boundaries of the Borough Hall Skyscraper Historic District, but was calendared separately on December 7, 2010 due to “threat of demolition” after the building owner filed a demolition permit application with Buildings. Chair Robert B. Tierney explained that Landmarks was concerned that the owner would demolish or alter the building before final deliberations on the proposed historic district had taken place.
The Parfitt Brothers designed and built the Queen Anne-style Franklin Building in 1887. The six-story building is clad in red brick with stone trim and terra cotta ornament, and its sandstone base features a large arched entranceway. The building lost its original roof around 1950 when the top one-and-a- half stories were removed and replaced with a simple brick parapet. (read more…)
- Proposed Borough Hall Skyscraper Historic District. Image: Courtesy of LPC.
Elected officials and business community expressed concerns about proposed twenty-building district. On December 14, 2010, Landmarks heard testimony on the proposed Borough Hall Skyscraper Historic District in downtown Brooklyn. The district would include approximately twenty properties along Court, Montague, Remsen, Joralemon, and Livingston Streets. The proposed district is characterized by large commercial buildings in a range of architectural styles including the 35-story Montague-Court Building at 16 Court Street, the 32-story Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce Building at 75 Livingston Street, and the thirteen-story Temple Bar Building at 44 Court Street. Many of the buildings were constructed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries following New York City’s consolidation and at a time when speculators believed downtown Brooklyn would become a financial and commercial center to rival lower Manhattan. Landmarks calendared the proposed district in October 2010.
At a hearing, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz spoke in support stating that the district was a “monument to the borough’s history.” Markowitz, however, asked Landmarks to exclude 75 Livingston Street, which is now a residential co-op, from the district. He said the tenants opposed designation because it would add onerous fees and complicate a planned renovation. Representatives of Assembly Member Joan Millman and local Council Member Steven Levin also recommended that Landmarks exclude 75 Livingston Street. Several residents of the co-op attended the hearing also to speak against including their building in the proposed district. (read more…)