Tag Archives: brooklyn heights

Brooklyn Heights

Brooklyn Heights (and neighboring Fulton Ferry and “DUMBO” [Down Under Manhattan Bridge Underpass]) are a triple treat.

They’re amazing concentrations of gorgeous and historic architecture, protected by New York City landmark status and (mostly) lovingly maintained. Down every block and around every corner you’ll delight at styles and details straight from the 1800s.

Secondly, these neighborhoods have spectacular views of downtown Manhattan. The Heights’ Promenade and Brooklyn Bridge Park are directly opposite the Financial District – itself filled with landmarks.

Thirdly, the Promenade and Park are great places to just hang out – enjoy fresh air, scenery and sunshine in a peaceful setting. Kid friendly, too, with the restored carousel now open in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

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The Arlington

The Arlington is the last and tallest of four ornate Romanesque Revival/Queen Anne style apartment buildings built on Montague Street; the others, designed by the Parfitt Bros. firm, are The Montague (105), and The Berkeley/The Grosvenor (111/115). The 10-story tower makes this one stand out.

Playwright Arthur Miller lived here, as well as artist/filmmaker Marie Menken and poet Willard Maas.

An Arlington resident – Chuck Taylor – seems to be the building’s self-appointed historian: He’s written four blog pieces about the structure. His Smoking Nun essay includes vintage photos of Montague Street when it was a trolley route, and before.

The Arlington Vital Statistics
The Arlington Recommended Reading

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The Montague

The Montague is one of three Queen Anne style apartment buildings designed by Parfitt Brothers on Montague Street; the other two, a joined set of near twins, are just three doors up the street.

The eight-story Montague started out as elevatorless(!) apartments, but were converted at the turn of the century into an apartment hotel (see New York Sun advertisement).

Apartment hotels competed with “bachelor flats” of the era: Daily maid service was included, but there were no kitchens – residents could take their meals in a ground floor cafe on the European Plan.

As the neighborhood changed, so did the building – becoming a welfare hotel, and returning to an apartment building. It’s now a 25-unit co-op, with one- and two-bedroom apartments listing for $750,000 and up.

The Montague Vital Statistics
The Montague Recommended Reading

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The Berkeley / The Grosvenor

The Berkeley / The Grosvenor are a pair of Queen Anne style apartment buildings on Montague Street, mirror-image twins cleverly joined to look like one massive structure.

The brownstone, brick and terra cotta building was restored in 2004.

The Berkeley / The Grosvenor Vital Statistics
The Berkeley / The Grosvenor Recommended Reading

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Franklin Trust Company Building

Franklin Trust Company Building (aka Franklin Tower Apartments) was built to impress. The bank is no more (absorbed through mergers into present-day Citibank), but the building still impresses.

The former bank/office building stands at the corner of Montague and Clinton Streets, on the block where Montague transitions from residential to “Bankers’ Row.” Diagonally across the street are three consecutive bank buildings.

In 2009 Rothzeid Kaiserman Thomson & Bee (RKTB) performed a $10 million “gut renovation” of the building, creating 25 condo apartments plus retail spaces while preserving and restoring the exterior.

Franklin Trust Company Building Vital Statistics
Franklin Trust Company Building Recommended Reading

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Brooklyn Trust Company Building

Brooklyn Trust Company Building, deemed “the most beautiful building on Brooklyn’s ‘Bank Row’,” is well preserved inside and out. The NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission took the unusual step of designating both the interior and the exterior as landmarks.

Chase Bank sold the building in 2007; those owners sold it in 2011, and the new owner is creating condominium apartments (Barry Rice Architects) in the rear (Pierrepont Street) annex.

Brooklyn Trust Company Building Vital Statistics
Brooklyn Trust Company Building Recommended Reading

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The Heights Casino

The Heights Casino is marked by distinctive gables, not tables: Flemish Revival style, applied to a private (and non-gambling) club. It is famed for games, though: tennis and squash; and for high society: the indoor tennis court can be converted to a ballroom.

The club’s former outdoor tennis courts were sold – on condition that the apartment building (Casino Mansions Apartments) to be built would complement the club, architecturally.

(Also see Casino Mansions Apartments.)

The Heights Casino Vital Statistics
The Heights Casino Recommended Reading

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Casino Mansions Apartments

Casino Mansions Apartments lacks the stepped gables of its western neighbor (Heights Casino), but the brickwork is distinctly Flemish bond, and the stone detailing aligns perfectly. No coincidence – the apartment building stands on the site of the Heights Casino’s former outdoor tennis court, land that was sold with the condition that the new building blend in with the old. It helped that the same architect designed both: William A. Boring.

As built, the luxury rental building had one eight-room/two-bath and one nine-room/three bath apartment per floor. Among the “best modern conveniences and improvements” reported by The New York Times in 1910 were steam clothes dryers, sanitary garbage closets, electric plate warmers, porcelain-lined refrigerators, and wall safes.

The apartments are now co-op, with units going for $1 to $3 million.

(Also see Heights Casino.)

Casino Mansions Apartments Vital Statistics
Casino Mansions Apartments Recommended Reading

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