DOB says iconic Watchtower sign was illegal for half a century

Developers are fighting agency to install new sign

TRD New York /
Aug.August 10, 2018 06:15 PM

Brooklyn’s Watchtower at 25 Columbia Heights (Credit: Marcos Vinícius Silva via Flickr and iStock)

It turns out the iconic Watchtower sign — recently removed by a joint venture of CIM Group and LIVWRK Holdings — hovered above Brooklyn Heights illegally for half a century.

According to the city’s Department of Buildings, the sign and the E.R. Squibb & Sons’ sign it replaced in 1970 were installed on the roof of 25-30 Columbia Heights illegally. For this reason, the DOB is preventing the building’s new owners from putting a new sign on its roof, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported.

The joint venture of developers removed the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ sign in December, as part of a redevelopment of the building into an office and retail complex dubbed “Panorama.” The developers, who purchased the building in 2016 for $340 million, left the sign’s framework, paving the way for a replacement sign.

Kushner Companies previously owned a small stake in the property but sold it in June.

The DOB maintains that Squibb never obtained permits for its sign, meaning that putting a sign on the building would represent a structural alteration. The joint venture is appealing the DOB’s decision before the Board of Standards and Appeals. [Brooklyn Eagle] Kathryn Brenzel

Related Articles

Renderings of The William Vale and Denizen Bushwick with a Tel Aviv Stock Exchange ticker

All Year eyes sale of William Vale to pay off bonds

Breather CEO Bryan Murphy (Credit: LinkedIn and iStock)

Breather bloodbath: Flex-office startup fires 17% of staff

Stephen Levin, REBNY's Jim Whelan and Brad Lander (Credit: Getty Images)

The bill that won’t die: Will commercial rent control finally pass?

Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son (Credit: Getty Images)

SoftBank’s $3B payout to WeWork’s investors is delayed

John Legere (Credit: Getty Images)

WeWork reportedly in talks to hire T-Mobile exec as CEO

(Credit: iStock)

Small Talk: Every community meeting. About every development project. Ever.

An example of roll-off waste management (Credit: YouTube, iStock)

A win for big building owners in trash-collection fight

Duke Long and Poshtel International CEO Morten Lund

“I can talk about erections all day”: NAR tech consultant’s bizarre fireside chat