If you ever dreamed of stepping back in time to the swank days of Brooklyn’s luxurious residential hotels, this collection of vintage postcards of the Leverich Towers Hotel in Brooklyn Heights will at least let you take an imaginary trip.
In the early 20th century there was a craze for residential hotels — apartments that offered luxury living with hotel amenities like grand social spaces and furnished rooms. A number were constructed in Brooklyn Heights, as 19th century row houses gave way to monuments to “modern” living.
These postcards from the collection of longtime Brooklyn Heights resident Andrew Porter provide a tour of the Leverich Towers Hotel, located at 25 Clark Street. Designed by Manhattan architectural firm Starrett and Van Vleck, the Romanesque style building was completed in 1927.
Envisioned as a prestige living experience, the project got off to a bit of a rough start. Begun in 1925, by 1928 it was in receivership. But it bounced back and eventually dropped the name Leverich and became known just as the Towers Hotel. Early advertisements boasted of the ballroom and banquet halls for hosting dances, dinners and other social events. The Don Pedro Room — opened at least by the early 1930s — was one such entertainment space.
The building was originally intended to have 600 apartments, ranging in size from one to 10 rooms. The hotel operated until the 1970s when it was sold to the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
They maintained it as a residential building and still own the property, although they put it on the market in 2016, according to the Real Deal. (The Witnesses are moving upstate and have been liquidating their impressive portfolio of Brooklyn real estate in the last several years.)
Having served as a dormitory for decades, perhaps under new ownership it will once again become apartments.
[Postcards from the collection of Andrew Porter]
- Take a Trip on the Myrtle Avenue El (Photos)
- Building of the Day: 25 Clark Street
- Brooklyn’s Hotel St. George