There was news recently about how Tom Caruana, the owner of the building that houses the Brooklyn Heights Cinema, at 70 Henry Street, intends to demolish the structure in order to build a new condo, but it turns out Caruana is thinking twice about his plans following criticism from neighborhood preservationists. The Eagle reports on how Caruana decided not to present his plans to Community Board 2’s Land Use Committee:
Both Robert Perris, district manager of Community Board 2, and Judy Stanton, executive director of the Brooklyn Heights Association, told the Eagle that this decision followed a meeting between the building owner and the Heights Association’s own Landmarks Committee. She said that the committee, which contains three architectural historians, did research on the building’s history and came to the conclusion that it was an integral part of the Brooklyn Heights Landmark District and should not be demolished. The circa-1895 building was always a commercial building, but had a varied history, before it was converted into a cinema around 1970. Stanton said that research has revealed that the building, as originally constructed, was made of fine brick, had cast-iron columns and other details that were consistent with the neighborhood. Even though many of these details were later covered up or painted over, she says, “four-fifths of the original masonry still exists.” After the presentation, the owner apparently decided he had more homework to do.