Once moor! Beloved Montague Street anchor may return to Heights

Weighing in: From left, Anouk Peyser, Natalia Aklilu, Lily Lapiner, Warner Gephaldt, Jack Yoon, and Devan Spiro, fourth graders at PS 8, are mobilizing to save their beloved Montague Street anchor.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

A beloved antique anchor that decorated the Montague Street sidewalk for decades — until new tenants shipped it off elsewhere earlier this year — may soon return to Brooklyn Heights.

The city plans on hauling the nautical novelty that sat between Hicks and Pierrepont Place for nearly 25 years to the Brooklyn Heights Promenade after neighborhood youngsters rallied for its return, according to the property’s new owners, and locals say news of the homecoming has buoyed their spirits.

“It’s great news,” said Brooklyn Heights resident Brendan Spiro, whose grade-school son Devan rallied with other PS 8 kids in February to save the anchor. “I know Devan will be thrilled.”

The owner of a naval brokerage at 76 Montague St. first dropped the anchor in front of the storefront in 1981, and it soon became a neighborhood fixture and a de facto piece of playground equipment for local kids, even after a furniture store moved in.

But when Manhattan restaurant Friend of a Farmer took over the store earlier this year, the new tenant decided it would prefer to use the space occupied by the iron giant for outdoor seating, and the anchor’s original owner Wolf Spille sent it off to retire in a Staten Island shipyard.

But since hearing locals’ pleas, Spille, Friend of a Farmer, a few neighbors, and the city have been working together to bring the anchor back to the Heights and place it on the Promenade, which the eatery’s owners believe will happen later this month.

“We’ve talked to Spille and a few neighborhood residents and the anchor is coming to the Promenade in mid-November,” said Taylor Morbito, co-owner of Friend of a Farmer, which opened its doors last month.

The city’s parks department would not confirm the news, but did say it has been working with the community to bring the anchor to the scenic waterfront locale.

Reach reporter Harry MacCormack at hmaccormack@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow him on Twitter @HMacBKPaper.

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