There is an urban legend in the Heights to the effect that Xaviera Hollander’s brothel was in the Behr House. Not true. When 84 Pierrepont was the Palm Hotel it was a house of ill repute, probably in the 1930s and forties. It was purchased by the Franciscan Brothers in 1961 as staff housing in preparation for their operation of St. Francis College, which they opened in 1962 in the forner Brooklyn Union Gas Company buildings on Remsen Street. They sold the house in1976 for co-op development, and replaced the rooms for brothers with a new, extant building on Joralemon Street.
Hollander’s place was called the “vertical whorehouse,” which she operated from 1969 to 1971 in a high-rise at 73rd Street and York Avenue in Manhattan, according to her book “The Happy Hooker”. She was arrested and deported in 1971.
Robert Furman is working on a history of Brooklyn Heights called “Brooklyn Heights: The Rise, Fall and Rise of America’s First Suburb,” to be published later this year.