Built in the late 19th century, the office building at 186 Remsen Street has, in the memory of your correspondent, been the national headquarters of the NAACP, the home of Little Flower Children’s Services, and, for the past decade or so, vacant. Now the City is moving to save it.
The Brooklyn Paper: The city set aside its own landmarking rules on Tuesday to speed up historic preservation of a glorious — though dilapidated — Brooklyn Heights building.
The Landmarks Preservation Commission moved ahead with the unusual effort to landmark 186 Remsen St. — rather than include it in an already-proposed Skyscraper District — out of concern that the owner of the building would demolish or alter it before the historic district could be finalized.
Originally called the Franklin Building (and, according to the Brooklyn Paper article, originally nine stories tall), 186 Remsen was designed by the architects Parfitt Bros. (who also designed the Berkeley, Grosvenor, and Montague apartment buildings on Montague Street) in what Francis Morrone, in his An Architectural Guidebook to Brooklyn, calls “their craggy, broody Romanesque idiom”. Morrone also notes “the big, bad entrance arch beloved of this romantic style.”
Addendum: This Brownstoner piece tells of the building’s present sad condition. It also quotes a “real estate insider” as saying that St. Francis College (which, being next door, seems to me a logical purchaser) tried unsuccessfully to buy it.
BHB photo by C. Scales