The work of many great architects from the late nineteenth century has disappeared from the New York City architectural landscape. Unrelenting demolition of these age-old structures by developers and city planners in the name of progress have made the remaining survivors akin to endangered species. Brooklyn Heights has fortunately maintained landmark status protection since 1965 and as a consequence has a large stock of historically significant buildings.
Developers, at the same time, have been quick to recognize that premium prices can be achieved by carefully restoring these historical structures and have capitalized on the concept, otherwise known as adaptive re-use. Fortunately the profit motive and restoration are not mutually exclusive but rather have a symbiotic relationship.
This film focuses primarily on 166 Montague, formerly the Franklin Trust Building, as an example of a restored classic iconoclastic building that is being restored to prominence enjoyed in its early days when designed by George L. Morse in 1892. What makes this all the more satisfying is its proximity to St. Ann’s and the Holy Trinity Church and the Brooklyn Trust Building, two other architecturally significant building in Brooklyn Heights.
Mr. Morse, also designed the Temple Bar Building, Abraham and Strauss Building, the First Reformed Church of Brooklyn, as well as a personal favorite, the now demolished Brooklyn Daily Eagle Building all built in the late nineteenth century.
The exquisite renovation of the Franklin Trust Building is a tremendous success story and we can all rejoice that George L. Morse will have a place in Brooklyn Heights that will live on for many years to come.