‘Tel Montage

Flickr photo by callahn

Flickr photo by callhn

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    An 1891 article in The Real Estate Record and Guide called the Montague ”the finest of its kind in Brooklyn.” It noted that Ziegler had taken extensive fireproofing precautions, so that the top floors were both safe and ”the most desirable,” since they had views over New York Bay. But The Record and Guide also said that the apartment house might soon be converted to a hotel or office building, because Montague Street was becoming ”the Wall Street of Brooklyn” and office and bank construction on the east end of the street, near what was then City Hall, was beginning to encroach on the residential section toward the west.

    Sometime after the turn of the century the Montague was indeed converted to an apartment hotel. A 1902 advertisement promised that the building’s dining room was ”prepared to appease the appetite of the epicure,” and a 1905 photograph showed an elaborate canopy reaching to the curb, with a curved glass top, a type common in the period but no longer seen. The 1920 census recorded 103 households, very few with children. By that time advertisements claimed that the building was ”five minutes from Wall Street.”