As the year draws to a close, we look back at the Brooklyn buildings considered significant enough to merit designation by the Landmarks Preservation Commission in 2017.
While Brooklyn didn’t gain any new historic districts this year, there were three individual buildings and one complex of six buildings designated as individual landmarks.
People’s Trust Company Building
181 Montague Street, Downtown Brooklyn
Originally constructed in 1904 as the People’s Trust Company, 181 Montague Street is a richly ornamented Classical Revival style building designed by Mowbray & Uffinger. A massive pediment supported by marble columns dominates the facade.
The columns weigh 28 tons each and were once the largest ever quarried, according to the designation report. While the People’s Trust Company no longer operates out of the building, the banking use continues as it is currently a Citibank branch. The former bank was designated in January.
National Title Guaranty Company Building
185 Montague Street, Downtown Brooklyn
Just next door, 185 Montague Street was constructed as the National Title Guaranty Company Building. Completed in 1930, the 16-story Art Deco building was designed by Corbett, Harrison & MacMurray, proponents of the modern skyscraper and one of three firms involved in the design of Rockefeller Center.
While the projecting bays of the building shoot skyward, the base of the building features a “pierced limestone screen” by architectural sculptor Rene Chambellan. The building now has retail on the ground floor. It was designated in January.
Peter P. and Rosa M. Huberty House
1019 Bushwick Avenue, Bushwick
This well-preserved Colonial Revival mansion was built in 1900 on Bushwick Avenue, then a fashionable residential street. The house was designed by Brooklyn architect Ulrich J. Huberty for his parents. Huberty was later responsible for a number of significant Brooklyn buildings designed in partnership with Frank J. Helmle and William H. Hudswell, Jr., including the Williamsburg Savings Bank, Hotel Bossert and the Prospect Park Boathouse. The house was designated in June.
Empire State Dairy Company Buildings
2840 Atlantic Avenue, East New York
Consisting of six late-19th and early-20th century industrial buildings, the Empire Dairy Company complex takes up an entire block-front on Atlantic Avenue. Theobald Engelhardt designed the early buildings in a Renaissance/Romanesque Revival style while Otto Strack designed an annex completed in 1915 that is “Abstracted Classicist with Secession detail,” according to the LPC. Particularly noteworthy are the large tile murals by the American
Encaustic Tile Company. The complex was designated in December, after a long road towards landmarking.
What potential landmarks could be coming in 2018? This fall, the LPC added one Brooklyn building and one historic district extension to the “Proposed Landmarks” list, putting them closer to designation reality in 2018.
Boerum Hill Historic District Extension
In October, LPC voted to “calendar” a long-in-the-works extension to the Boerum Hill Historic District. The next step is a public hearing, which should take place in 2018. If approved, the extension would enlarge the existing historic district by several blocks and include a stretch of historic shops on Atlantic Avenue as well as modest early and mid 19th century brick row houses.
The Dime Savings Bank of Williamsburgh
209 Havemeyer Street, Williamsburg
Also in October the LPC voted to “calendar” this grand neo-Classical bank. It was completed in 1908 and designed by Helmle and Huberty, a team responsible for a number of Brooklyn’s iconic buildings. The bank was constructed during a building boom in the neighborhood following the construction of the Williamsburg Bridge in 1903. Brooklyn’s latest building boom may impact the building — there are plans for a 23-story mixed-use skyscraper designed by Fogarty Finger Architects to sprout up behind the historic structure.
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