Sayonara! Jehovah’s Witnesses’ iconic Watchtower sign to be removed

June 28, 2017 By Scott Enman Brooklyn Daily Eagle
It’s time to say goodbye to the Jehovah's Witnesses' famed "Watchtower" emblem that has stood perched over Brooklyn Heights for decades. The religious group recently filed permits to have the 15-foot-tall letters removed. Eagle file photo by Lore Croghan

Brooklyn’s skyline has undergone a lot of changes recently, but none perhaps more dramatic than this.

It’s time to say farewell to the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ famed “Watchtower” emblem that has stood perched over Brooklyn Heights for decades.

The Witnesses filed a permit to remove the 15-foot-tall letters from the roof of its former headquarters earlier this month, reports The Real Deal.

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The removal process will cost approximately $70,500, according to documents from the city’s Department of Buildings.

The frame of the sign will remain intact.

Kushner Cos., CIM Group and LIVWRK bought the 733,000-square-foot world headquarters at 25-30 Columbia Heights and the religious group’s 1.1-million square-foot as-of-right development site at 85 Jay St. in August 2016, city Finance Department records indicate.

The pricing for the two properties was about $700 million. The complex at 25-30 Columbia Heights was bought for $340 million.

Jared Kushner headed Kushner Cos. before he stepped aside to serve as senior adviser to his father-in-law, President Donald Trump.


In May, it was revealed that 25-30 Columbia Heights would be converted into a campus featuring roughly 635,000 square feet of office space and about 35,000 square feet of stores and public space for arts and culture.

The complex will be dubbed “Panorama.”

A spokesman for Columbia Heights Associates, which is the joint venture of Kushner Cos., CIM Group and LIVWRK Holdings, declined to comment when the Brooklyn Eagle asked last month as to whether a tenant might be able to put its name on the sign’s framework  — or if a smaller tenant could pay a fee for the rights to the sign.

“Panorama will mark a shift in what America’s best companies expect in an urban office setting,” Asher Abehsera, LIVWRK’s founder and chief executive officer, said in a statement last month.

“Panorama will be more than just a place to work,” Abehsera said. “It will be a thriving community offering the best visibility and views in New York City, world-class office space and an opportunity for tenants to infuse the campus with their culture from the very start.”

The Witnesses, who have been a staple of Brooklyn Heights since 1908, have been selling their Brooklyn properties in preparation for their move upstate to Warwick, N.Y., where their new headquarters will be located.

The Brooklyn Heights headquarters was built in the 1920s and was formerly a Squibb Pharmaceuticals drug manufacturing plant. The Witnesses have owned it since the 1960s.

The building offers breathtaking views of Brooklyn Bridge Park, the Manhattan skyline and the East River bridges.

With hordes of tech startups recently moving to Brooklyn Heights and Downtown Brooklyn and with several companies eyeing Brooklyn waterfront properties, it may only be a matter of time before a navy-blue “Facebook” logo replaces the iconic red Watchtower one.


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