Eagle: Watchtower Officially Bugging Out of Brooklyn Heights

The Brooklyn Eagle reports today that the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society has decided to move its headquarters out of Brooklyn Heights.  The current state of the real estate market will slow the group’s departure, the article says.

The group, while eventually complimented for saving some historic buildings like the Bossert and Standish Arms Hotels in Brooklyn Heights, was characterized by preservationists as part of the “gathering storm” of destruction in the 1950s.

Heights Hero Otis Pearsall told New York Magazine in 1987, “As the Witnesses buy up more and more there is a sense that a critical mass might be reached. When this happens there will be so many Witnesses that Brooklyn Heights will be a less attractive place for regular families to live.”

Now that the end of the Watchtower’s residence in Brooklyn Heights seems to be nearing, do you think this will open the door for more “regular families”? How do you think it will impact the quality of life here?

Brooklyn Eagle: “We have submitted a proposal to the Town of Warwick to build a complex there that we’re calling the World Headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses,” Richard Devine told the Eagle Tuesday. “We have started the land use process there.”

Devine, who is in charge of real property for the religious organization, was confirming what was contained in a document forwarded anonymously to the Eagle last week.

That document included several pages from a public scoping session held Nov. 18 by the Town of Warwick Planning Board.

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  • travy

    didn’t the crown jewel bossert just fail to sell? i assume all these properties will be expensive to convert so i just don’t see some apocalyptic (pun intended) change coming.

  • William Spier

    Nabeguy: you are right about the spelling;it was just sloppiness on my end.

    As Dennis Holt says in the BHP, it will take years for the Watchtower to divest the real estate. Each sale will bring a new building onto the tax rolls.

    Over time, there will be many more children–especially with the Park draw. The city would be smart to latch on to one of their properties that suits a school. The addition to PS 8 will be stuffed with kids in about five years. Why did the City not talk to the Watchtower folks a year or two ago. It was another instance of the School Construction Authority’s limited intelligence

  • Andrew Porter

    Although the Witnesses are known for doing good restoration jobs on their properties, they have also destroyed the ballroom at the Bossert, stripping it of decoration and installing a dropped ceiling, and have also destroyed the ballrooms at the Towers Hotel; one is the Don Pedro Room, a restaurant, the other the large Ballroom itself.

    I will, however, miss their clearing the snow between their various properties in the North Heights. But not their always moving shuttle buses.

  • benamery21

    Mr. Stanton: Per your “Olive Garden and Applebee’s” comment on the supposed white-bread, small-town American demography of JW’s…Roughly 85% of JW’s are outside the U.S. Inside the U.S. the JW’s are arguably the most ethnically and racially diverse major religious group (they’re majority-minority)–see the Pew U.S. Religious Landscape.

    The odds are that local restaurants will see a substantial drop in business when the Watchtower formally designates another location as their WORLD headquarters and the tourist draw drops. That’s a simple fact. The relative wealth of a dramatically reduced residential population won’t change that.

  • nabeguy

    Facati’s is definitely going to be impacted, as will the sale of Almaden at Michael’s Town Liquor.Whatever happens, it’s not going to be happen overnight, especially given the market-place. Just as it took decades for the JW organization to amass their holdings, it will probably take quite some time to sell them, although given their astuteness at buying many properties when they did in the 70’s, they’re sure to reap some nice profits.

  • temp

    i just did some volunteer temp work in brooklyn at 25 Columbia Heights and i’ll tell ya, everyone i know there eats at the restaurants on henry, atlantic, montague, etc. regularly. i went out and had a beer at a local pub a few nights and it was largely my brothers that were patronizing the establishment.

    you can examine the crime statistics of the Heights online… it’s the lowest in the city…

    i’ll miss going down to brooklyn to visit JW headquarters, eat out and go shopping… we’ll see how the neighborhood changes.

  • ac

    Some people need to be careful about who we get into the heights to replace the witnesses. Sure, you mighten like them but at least they dont steal, swear mug or kill people. Who knows who our neighbours might be in the future. I am a little concerned also about who is going to look after the buildings the same way the witnesses do.

  • JR

    I think they’re great neighbors. Never bothered me. Quite friendly, actually.

  • newyorker

    to “no one of consequence”
    it’s obvious you’re impressed by the witnesses or you would not be writing on this site…yes, you’re a hater…you hate their progress…the DUMBO district exists ONLY because of the JW presence…it’s a classy place ONLY because of the JWs…as far as child molesters go…yes, there are molesters all over the world in all walks of life…i just read about a
    school teacher in california convicted of child molesting…THAT DOESN’T MEAN ALL SCHOOL TEACHERS ARE CHILD MOLESTERS…you’re NOT fair but that’s okay…I will pray for you…it’s a fearful thing to be in the hands of the living God…
    shake your fist into the air all you want…Jehovah gives you that freedom…but He will not tolerate haters forever…AMEN!

  • nabeguy

    newyorker, nooc is not saying that every JW is a child molester. Given that Jehovah has the final say, you might want think carefully about how you shake your own fist in continuing down the road of denial.

  • newyorker

    dear nabeguy,
    i know nooc was not saying EVERY JW is a child molester…but his INTENT was to incinuate that JWs are perverts in one way or another…he was not innocently posting a piece of interesting trivia…there was MALICE behind it and you know it in your heart of hearts…i don’t know what you mean about the road of denial but i do know most of mankind is in GREAT DENIAL that there is indeed a God of this universe…also, I give myself the right to feel righteous indignation from time to time….Amen, so be it…have a beautiful day…

  • newyorker

    dear nabeguy,
    before you correct my typo…insinuate…okay?…blah, blah, blah…i hope you’re having a great day…peace out…

  • newyorker

    dear nabeguy,
    one more thing…your comment about JWs “always serving themselves first” – we spent way over one billion hours worldwide last year speaking to people “one on one” – we cover travel expenses and expenses for the literature we place including hundreds of millions of bibles in hundreds of languages…every Witness is “out of pocket”…it’s a labor of love…we’re growing at the rate of 800 Witnesses for every day of every year…Jehovah said he would rock the nations and shake out all His desirables during the “last days”…but it’s not about the numbers, like I said, it’s a labor of love…
    did I say hundreds of languages? can you name one hundred languages? i can’t…take care, nabeguy…lots of precious souls out there including you…thanks for the nice words you did share…peace out…

  • The Where

    Cult members are robots. Stfu “new yorker”.

  • Sticky

    According to Durkheim a cult is the “early formation of religious practices.” I think the Jehova’s Witnesses are a full fledged religion.

    Man Waco Texas and Jim Jones killed the word cult in the english language.

  • Andrew Porter

    Good news: all the JH properties are being bought up by the Scientologists! We can expect Kirsty Allie, John Travolta and Tom Cruise to move to the neighborhood soon.

    (Oh, sorry, this shoulda been posted April 1st)

  • No One of Consequence

    Did I say all Witnesses were child molesters?
    What that article is saying is that the JW provide a sort of sanctuary for child molesters in the way they require two witnesses to an act before they’ll even consider an allegation to have merit.
    Of course they wouldn’t want any actual cases to be discovered. After all, aren’t they supposed to be able to cure child molesting? Just like the Scientologists can cure gayness?
    I like how in this new blog-world, any dissenting opinion, or in this case linking to an article makes one a “hater.”
    Don’t worry, I like to pick on all of the organized religions because they’re all the same as instruments of control.

    Before you jump on nabeguy’s spelling, perhaps you would like some of your ellipses back… … …

  • No One of Consequence

    oh, and I have a feeling that Mr. Walentas and family would take exception to your comment about the rise of DUMBO.

  • PlainAndSimple

    Funny how some guys in this blog turned the ‘JW-out-of-town’ impact into a personal confrontation. I’ll just go by the facts: They were good neighbors and provided a sense of ‘moral safeness’ and decency overall. Not sure what the outcome will be years from now but I really predict (without being a prophet) that it’s not going to be that nice, regardless of some movie stars moving in.

  • newyorker

    dear no one of consequence,
    first of all, i never corrected nabeguy’s spelling…and secondly, why are you so hateful of Jehovah? the One who gave you life and breath and free will? What was His crime?
    The crimes all belong to mankind…it’s such a shame that Jehovah offers everlasting life under peaceful conditions and people like you shove it back into His chest…such a pity…I hope that one day you’ll take all that negativity out of your mind and heart and soul…you’re clueless as to mankind’s potential…it’s way beyond anything you’ve ever meditated on…under true paradisaic conditions, your beloved “dumbo” district will be meaningless and insignificant inlcuding any “awe inspiring” contributions your beloved “walentas”
    made…how sad you choose to admire their contributions and despise the Witnesses who are simply trying to be decent human beings…maybe you would have been much happier if your sacred dumbo district was infested with gang bangers, crack heads, pot heads, drug dealers, prostitutes and drunks vomiting on the street…and hopefully you’ll think more of yourself one day than just “no one of consequence”…your negativity is poisoning you…it’s rottenness to the bones…
    i wish you peace, love, clarity, growth and healing…sincerely, new yorker, a truth seeker and servant of Jehovah, the God of this universe…NO!…Life is NOT just one great, big happy “accident”….peace out…and I LUV my dot dot dots….

  • newyorker

    P.S. – Like I said before, I give myself the right to feel righteous indignation from time to tiime…and I give myself
    the right to express it to the best of my imperfect abilities…
    I am, a new yorker and a child of the universe…to quote Rodney Allen King, “Can’t we all just get along?” !!! dot dot dot…

  • newyorker

    Dear Plain and Simple, Thank you for sharing your thoughts…

  • newyorker

    Thank you, Sticky, for your well-balanced input on the meaning of the word cult. People can use that word
    with all the negativity they want to impose on it…Jehovah’s people are still happy, centered, focussed and blessed
    by their God. Jesus was persecuted so much worse. We’re in good company.

  • newyorker

    To The Where,
    You said cult members are robots…What cult might you belong to? Are you a robot of Satan’s world? The world alientated from God? Do you jump on every band wagon the world tells their robots to jump on? Did you buy “this” Hallmark card and “that” Hallmark card? Yesterday’s Hallmark card? Did you wear the right colors? Did you “buy” the beer yesterday? Robots were “supposed” to buy the beer, you know. Did you tell anyone and eveyrone that you’re part Irish? Are you ready to keep Hallmark in business with their next batch of cards and their next and their next? What does the Easter bunny have to do with Christ?
    Who invented liquid soap, btw? Why are all the political pundits sitting at round tables speaking in hysteria in a frenzy and getting nowhere? Did the Bible really say that in the last days people “would not be open to ANY agreement”? Does the world have their robots believe that they’re all REALLY different and unique? Does the world tell you you’re not a follower?
    You told me to shut up but I will exercise my freedom of speech. The Witnesses went all the way to the Supreme Court to fight for the freedom to speak when everyone was allowed to except us. We also went all the way to the Supreme Court when we were being FORCED to say things
    to an “emblem” that we didn’t want to speak to. It was ruled UNCONSTITUTIONAL: COMPULSORY SPEECH. I know you appreciate that through our efforts and with God’s help…no one can force you to speak and no one can select you to keep quiet….peace out, my fellow human being…Christ died for you…He paid the price in order for you to have a future…

  • CharlieSahadi

    Umm…. IP ban?

  • harumph

    I second Charlie’s motion

  • Monty

    Wait, there are robots that can buy beer. Where can I acquire said robot?

    @newyorker, have a read: http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/b8zac/iama_former_jehovahs_witnessturnedatheist_ama/

  • Cranberry Beret

    “They were good neighbors and provided a sense of ‘moral safeness’ and decency overall. Not sure what the outcome will be years from now but I really predict (without being a prophet) that it’s not going to be that nice, regardless of some movie stars moving in.”

    Oh yes, I definitely agree, it’s going to be longshoremen, hookers and artists all over again.

  • newyorker

    @ monty…i stay away from junk food…regarding the word “atheist” on your link…one cubic inch of a star weighs 16 billion tons!…with a universe so MASSIVE…the AUDACITY of people to declare with such certainty that they know for a fact, everything that is and isn’t out in the universe…some people are really delusional…at least agnostics are humble enough to admit that maybe there is and maybe there isn’t…i’m done with this forum…no more casting of pearls…peace out…

  • nabeguy

    One cubic inch of the sun weighs 16 billion tons? The average human brain weighs 3.1 pounds. Yours seems to weigh slightly more, given all the Lysol that the JW’s have tried to wash it with. What’s the latest “end of days” prediction? Personally, I stopped worrying about it when the locusts didn’t come back in 1976. Peace out to you, but getting out would be a better idea IMHO.