Brooklyn has two new individual landmarks after the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted on Tuesday to designate the buildings at 181 and 185 Montague Street, key structures in the borough’s banking history.
The two buildings sit on what is known as Bank Row, between the Brooklyn Heights Historic District, the city’s first, designated in 1965, and the Borough Hall Skyscraper Historic District, designated in 2011. They also sit next to the former Brooklyn Trust Company Building at 177-179 Montague Street, which was built between 1913 and 1916 and designated an individual landmark in 1966.
The first of the new landmarks designated on Tuesday was the former People’s Trust Company Building at 181 Montague Street, a.k.a. 181-183 Montague Street. The neoclassical building was designed by Mowbray & Uffinger and built between 1903 and 1906. Its four 28-ton columns each came from the same piece of marble, one of the largest ever quarried, the LPC’s research staff said. The building is now a Citibank. The Pierrepont Street addition was not covered by the designation.
The second designation was for the 16-story Art Deco former National Title Guaranty Building at 185 Montague Street. Corbett, Harrison & MacMurray designed the building, which was built between 1929 and 1930. It features a decorative screen by Rene Chambellan. It is a great example of boom-time construction, as it was completed only half a decade before the National Title Guaranty Company was founded and less than half a decade before it went bust.
Among those in the audience for the session was Otis Pearsall, a key figure in the designation of the Brooklyn Heights Historic District.
While the commission’s research staff strongly emphasized the importance of filling this gap in the preservation of Brooklyn, the commissioners themselves had no specific remarks on the designations. Their approval, which was unanimous, came after the pair of buildings was calendared in August of 2016 and a public hearing was held in late November.