Building of the Day: 185 Montague Street

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: 185 Montague Street, between Cadman Plaza W. and Clinton St.
Name: Originally National Title Guarantee Building
Neighborhood: Brooklyn Heights
Year Built: 1930
Architectural Style: Art Deco
Architects: Corbett, Harrison & MacMurray
Landmarked: No

The first three decades of the 20th century produced a wealth of brilliant design, ranging from Beaux Arts through Art Deco. Art Deco is a style born for large towers, apartment and office buildings, and we’ve got some real beauties, including this one.

Real estate always being key to the growth of the city, the National Title Guarantee Company did very well, and built this office complex, completely different from the Beaux Arts banks who share this block, helping making Montague St. the architectural montage that it is.

Brooklyn Heights Brooklyn -- 185 Montague St History

The ziggurat towers are visually enhanced by the delicate angular tracery on the lower floors. The ground floor is currently occupied by Chipotle, a Mexican chain restaurant. Ironically, much of Art Deco’s iconography and ornament is derived from Aztec architecture, so this actually is a good match of past and present.

The architects are the same firm that gave us Rockefeller Center, another Deco masterpiece.

Brooklyn Heights Brooklyn -- 185 Montague St History

Brooklyn Heights Brooklyn -- 185 Montague St History

[Photos by Suzanne Spellen]

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