The BOTD is a no-frills look at interesting structures of all types and from all neighborhoods. There will be old, new, important, forgotten, public, private, good and bad. Whatever strikes our fancy. We hope you enjoy.
Address: 44 Court Street, corner of Joralemon Street
Name: Temple Bar Building
Neighborhood: Downtown Brooklyn
Year Built: 1901
Architectural Style: Neo-Classical
Architect: George L. Morse
This 13 story building was once the tallest in Brooklyn. Its three verdigris copper clad cupolas, with beautiful sculpted female faces, and distinctive cresting are among the highlights of Court Street’s skyscraper row.
Sadly, the ground floor retail store alterations have obscured the beauty of the lower part of the building, but look up! Rows of lion’s head ring the building, bands of cornices, a balcony, and then there’s those cupolas.
This is regarded as George L. Morse’s finest building. Most of his other work is in the Romanesque Revival style, including the Franklin Trust building on the corner of Montague and Clinton, newly made into condos (coincidentally, also a thread today).
He also designed many other fine buildings in Brooklyn. The Temple Bar building was once a headquarters for the practice of law, hence the Bar. It was a very popular and much photographed monument and many period postcards remain featuring it.
When built, it stood tall amongst much shorter buildings. Today, the restored beauty of the building is slowly emerging from its netting.