Brooklyn Heights

Two Brooklyn Heights ‘Bank Row’ buildings are landmarked

January 24, 2017 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Brooklyn Heights' new landmarks are 181-183 Montague St., which is the building with the columns, and Art Deco tower 185 Montague St. (at right). Eagle file photos by Lore Croghan
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Say hello to Brooklyn’s new landmarks.

Two stunning side-by-side buildings on Bank Row in Brooklyn Heights were both designated as individual city landmarks on Tuesday.  

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The eye-catching neighbors are 181-183 Montague St., which is known as the People’s Trust Company Building, and 185 Montague St., which is called the National Title Guaranty Company Building.

The city Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) voted unanimously to grant both commercial properties protected status as historically significant buildings. This means their owners cannot demolish them or alter their exteriors without the LPC’s permission.

The votes were held at the preservation agency’s Lower Manhattan headquarters.

“It’s a wonderful moment,” preservationist Otis Pratt Pearsall told the Brooklyn Eagle after the votes.

The Brooklyn Heights Association had been actively working for a decade to win landmark designation for the two buildings, he explained.|

The group was disappointed when 181-183 Montague St. and 185 Montague St. were excluded from the Borough Hall Skyscraper Historic District during the designation process of the area, he said.

In 2014, the Brooklyn Heights Association proposed the two buildings for individual landmark designation, he added.

Pearsall is a living legend among New York City preservationists. He worked with the Brooklyn Heights Association to get the Brooklyn Heights Historic District designated as New York City’s very first landmarked neighborhood a half-century ago.

In August, the LPC put the People’s Trust Company Building and the National Title Guaranty Company Building onto its calendar to consider them for landmark designation. Public hearings were held in November.

A third Bank Row property, the Brooklyn Trust Company Building at 177 Montague St., was landmarked long ago. It is next door to 181-183 Montague St.

“Bank Row” is what preservationists call the financial buildings that sprang up in the early 20th century on the Montague Street block between Court and Clinton streets.  

Newly landmarked neo-Classical 181-183 Montague St., which is now a Citibank branch, looks like an ancient temple.

It was designed by architectural firm Mowbray & Uffinger and built in 1903-1906.

Its front entrance is graced with four marble Ionic columns topped by a triangular pediment with massive sculptures of reclining figures.

It belongs to Jonathan Rose Cos., city Finance Department records indicate.

The other new landmark, Art Deco-style 185 Montague St., is a slim office tower with Chipotle as a ground-floor tenant.

This building was designed by architecture firm Corbett, Harrison & MacMurray and built in 1929-1930.

It belongs to the heirs of the late Sol Goldman, Finance Department records indicate.


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