Landmarks Votes to Calendar Brooklyn Edison Company Building in Downtown Brooklyn

The Brooklyn Edison Company building in Downtown Brooklyn. Image Credit: LPC.

On February 13, 2024, the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to calendar the Brooklyn Edison Building for landmark designation. The 13-story building is located at 345 Adams Street in Downtown Brooklyn. 

The building was constructed between 1922 to 1926 for the Brooklyn Edison Company by McKenzie, Voorhees & Gmelin. The Brooklyn Edison Company started as the Edison Electric Illuminating Company of Brooklyn in 1887 and merged to form the Brooklyn Edison Company in 1919. The company was originally headquartered at 360 Pearl Street, adjacent to the proposed designation site; following the expansion of the City’s subway lines by the 1920’s, the Brooklyn Edison Company needed to expand its operations. As a result, the company purchased the adjacent site at 345 Adams Street to build a larger headquarters. 

The building, constructed in the Renaissance Revival style, was built in two phases. The first phase went from 1922 to 1923, and then the building expanded northwards by 1926. The building features a tripartite configuration with a stone base, brick middle and set-back stone crown. It features double sized arched windows, shields, festoon motifs and quoins all in line with the Renaissance Revival style. The building used “modern” technology for the time, incorporating advanced lighting and telephone systems. Many charity fundraisers and meetings were held in the building’s auditorium. 

The building replaces Loew’s Royal Theater on the corner of Willoughby and Pearl Streets. The primary facades faced these streets. As part of the construction of Brooklyn Civic Center and building out Adams Street in the 1950s, the western half of the block was removed, which exposed the lower rear facade. The ground floor was further altered to include ground floor retail and includes replications of facade features to match the rest of the building. Despite the alterations, the building maintains its historic character and significant architectural features. 

The building recently underwent a sensitive restoration through the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services, and still operates as an office building with ground and first floor retail spaces. The building is currently owned by the City, and current tenants include the Department of Finance, the Department of Probation, the Board of Elections, and the Administration for Children’s Services among other city agencies. 

The Landmarks Preservation Commission unanimously voted to calendar the building. Landmarks will hold a public hearing at a later date.

By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the Editor of CityLand and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2018.)

Landmarks: Brooklyn Edison Building, LP-2680, February 13, 2024.


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