Building of the Day: 105 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: 105 Montague Street, between Henry and Hicks
Name: The Montague Apartments
Neighborhood: Brooklyn Heights
Year Built: 1885-86
Architectural Style: Queen Anne
Architects: Parfitt Brothers
Landmarked: Yes

The Parfitt Brothers were among the best of Brooklyn’s architects. Their buildings appear all over Brownstone Brooklyn. There are several Parfitt Brothers buildings in the Heights, and this one is one of the best.

I especially like the fine terra-cotta ornaments in the form of a grotesque leaning over to see the street below, and the floral bands. The grotesque must have been a private joke, as it can barely been seen from the street.

The Montague was built at a time when residential hotels and the new, upscale apartment buildings were just beginning to take hold. Luxury and space were paramount, and the Montague had both.

Brooklyn Heights Brooklyn -- 105 Montague St History

The seven floors of the building housed fourteen apartments, fourteen servant’s apartments and an attic party room for tenants. The building had a elevator, and all of the other modern conveniences of the day.

In 1900, Brooklyn Heights Developer Louis Horowitz bought the Montague and converted it into a residential hotel, breaking up the large apartments, increasing the total number of units in the building.

He was aiming for the new, mostly single gentlemen residents, who were swiftly populating gentleman’s flats and hotels across the city. He put a restaurant on the ground floor to service his tenants.

Brooklyn Heights Brooklyn -- 105 Montague St History

The now faded Hotel Montague on the side of the building is from this time. Today, the building is an eight story, 25 unit co-op. The Parfitt Brothers also designed the similar Berkeley and Grosvenor apartments just down the street from the Montague, their large brick, stone and terra-cotta buildings a dominant presence on Brooklyn Heights’ main street.

[Photos by Suzanne Spellen]

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