Looking up! City plans ‘Skyscraper district’ in Downtown

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

A new historic district would protect the borough’s tallest architectural wonders in Downtown and Brooklyn Heights, the city announced this week.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission this week proposed the “Borough Hall Skyscraper Historic District,” which encompasses 20 buildings — including Borough Hall and the Municipal Building — along Court Street from Montague Street to Livingston Street, extending half a block west into Brooklyn Heights and east into Downtown.

The plan would effectively protect the face of this handsome handful of early-1900s Romanesque Revival and Beaux-Arts buildings — and preserve the architectural history in the district, which is characterized mostly by tall commercial structures.

“The district contains many of the borough’s most architecturally distinguished business buildings,” the city noted in its proposal, whose timeline is not yet clear. “Designed in a range of styles, the structures in the study area represent the work of an impressive group of architects.”

The district, which sits directly adjacent to the swank and ancient Brooklyn Heights Historic District of brownstones, stakes its claim as the heart of commercial growth in Downtown. Shortly after the business boom surrounding Brooklyn Heights in the late 1800s, buildings in the district, such as the cloud-reaching Romanesque Chamber of Commerce Building at Livingston and Court streets and the Temple Bar Building on Court and Joralemon streets, began cropping up.

Of course, the “skyscraper” in the district’s name is a bit misleading. Several buildings, like the Municipal Building and Borough Hall, are far from tall in comparison to their surroundings. And after all, isn’t Manhattan, not Brooklyn, defined by its tall buildings?

Answers to these and other questions await the lengthy landmarking process.

Updated 5:22 pm, July 9, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: