Clinton Hill

Brookland Capital will remove Tiffany windows from landmarked Clinton Hill church for condo conversion

But condo buyers can reinstall them

February 13, 2018 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
In this condo-conversion design for St. Luke's Evangelical Lutheran Church, the green panels represent religious stained-glass windows the developer will remove. Rendering by ROART via the Landmarks Preservation Commission
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Listen carefully. This gets complicated.

On Tuesday, the city Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) unanimously approved a plan by developer Brookland Capital to remove four stained-glass windows made by famous artist Louis Comfort Tiffany and three stained-glass windows designed by important glass-maker J&R Lamb Studios from a Clinton Hill Historic District church it’s converting into condos.

But some — or maybe even all — the historic windows could possibly show up again at shuttered St. Luke’s Evangelical Lutheran Church after it and an adjacent parish house are turned into an eight-unit condo complex.

Brookland Capital will give condo purchasers the option to reinstall the “famous-maker windows” in their apartments, Rick Azar, a consultant for the developer, told the LPC at a public meeting at its Lower Manhattan headquarters.

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This was the second time the commission weighed Brookland Capital’s condo-conversion plans for St. Luke’s.

At a public hearing in December, Azar had told the LPC the developer would try to “find the right home” for the Tiffany and J&R Lamb Studios windows, which are all religiously themed.

At that hearing, LPC Chairwoman Meenakshi Srinivasan instructed him and architecture firm ROART to consider leaving the high-profile windows in place and also to devise a plan for restoring and preserving the windows at some other location.


St. Luke’s Tiffany windows will not be sold on the open market

Here are other elements of the plan they came up with, which Azar spelled out at Tuesday’s public meeting:

* The developer will not sell the Tiffany and J&R Lamb Studios windows on the open market.

* The developer will do outreach to religious institutions, museums and historic venues to try to place the seven “famous-maker windows,” in case condo purchasers don’t want them.

* The developer will draw up an annual report about the condition and whereabouts of the seven windows.

Before the LPC’s vote, Commissioner Michael Goldblum called Brookland Capital’s window-disposal plan “eminently reasonable.”  

It does not apply to numerous other religiously themed windows that Brookland Capital will also remove from St. Luke’s as part of the condo-conversion project.  

Louis Comfort Tiffany, one of the great names in American art, worked from the 1870s through the 1920s. His stained-glass windows are prized additions to churches and synagogues.

J&R Lamb Studios, which was founded more than 160 years ago, is still in business today.

Rock-faced limestone St. Luke’s Evangelical Lutheran Church was built in 1894. It is neo-Gothic in style. It was designed by prominent ecclesiastical architect J.W. Walter.

The church’s parish house, whose address is 230 Hall St., was built in 1924.

Brookland Capital bought the church and parish house through an LLC for $8.8 million in 2015, city Finance Department records indicate.

The seller was the Metropolitan New York Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Finance Department records show.

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