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: 62 Montague Street, between Hicks and Montague Terrace
Name: The Arlington Apartments
Neighborhood: Brooklyn Heights (Brooklyn Heights Historic District)
Year Built: 1887
Architectural Style: Romanesque Revival
Architect: Montrose Morris
This may be Montrose Morris’ first apartment building, built before his masterpieces, the Alhambra (1889) and the Imperial (1893). It complements the Parfitt Brothers’ fine brick and brownstone apartment buildings; the Montague, Grosvenor and Berkeley, which are just up the street, which predate this by only a couple of years.
When it was built, it was one of the tallest buildings on the Brooklyn Heights skyline, and could easily be seen from the shoreline. Ironically enough, it was not built for the the Heights’ upperclass businessmen, but rather for the middle class supervisors, managers, and clerks who worked for them. It’s a great building, with many of the features that now help identify a MM work.
As he would repeat in the Alhambra, his use of loggias to bridge sections of building together is evidenced here, along with his massing of shapes and features; turrets, dormers, columns and balconies, as well as his prolific use of terra-cotta trim.
The terra-cotta cherubs that cavort all over this building are used in his Hancock St. houses, from about the same time, as are the floral detail and use of decorative brick. As large as this building is, it often gets overlooked, as people head for the Promenade, but it is worthy of attention. Look up the next time you pass.
[Photos by Suzanne Spellen]