Today’s news:

Lawrence St tower may top Williamsburgh Bank

The Brooklyn Paper

The Williamsburgh Bank Building’s iconic clocktower would no longer be the borough’s tallest structure, if a big-time development company has its way.

The Clarett Group, the firm behind the Forte condos in Fort Greene, submitted a proposal in June for a 51-story residential building at 111 Lawrence St., near the Metrotech campus Downtown.

The Buildings Department rejected the proposal and sent it back to the developer for revision.

But if the basic elements of the proposal remain intact, the 491-unit residential tower would rise 514 feet, two feet taller than the legendary Williamsburgh Bank Building.

The developer did not return repeated requests for comment. But local preservationists are wary.

“There is nothing sacrosanct about the specific height of the Williamsburgh Bank building,” said Simeon Bankoff, Historic Districts Council executive director. “It’s more of a case of what we want Brooklyn to look like. Do we want Brooklyn to be the mirror image of the Manhattan skyline?”

In 2006, Brooklynites were similarly aghast to discover that Miss Brooklyn, the trophy skyscraper of the Frank Gehry-designed 16-tower-and-arena Atlantic Yards project, would rise to 620 feet and obscure views of the clocktower. Later that year, developer Forest City Ratner, agreed to lower its height to below 512 feet.

If Bankoff had his way, Clarett would do the same.

“Brooklyn was once called the borough of churches, because church steeples were the tallest things around,” said Bankoff. “The notion of this high-rise living is not necessarily what defines Brooklyn as an area, as a notion, as a state of mind.”

News about the Lawrence St. deal was first reported on Brownstoner.com

Pin It
Print this story Permalink

Reader Feedback

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Links