Montague Street’s Verizon Wireless Storefront Riling Preservationists

Preservations are raising sand that Brooklyn Heights’ Verizon Wireless storefront is parading multiple injustices to the 19th century row-house at 146 Montague Street in which it has long been housed. In a hearing last month, the Landmarks Preservation Commission refused to retroactively permit an illegal aluminum display box, according to a story in the Brooklyn Paper.

And according to the Historic Districts Council, there are plenty more violations. In a statement, the organization says: “Rather than just focus on this display box, the base of this historic building needs to be rethought as a whole. The stretch banner, waterfall awning, and surface mounted solid roll down gate also need to be addressed for the sake of the building and the block.

Nadezhda Williams, the Historic Districts Council’s director of preservation & research adds, “We’re questioning whether any of this was legal. Though we weren’t a fan of the little box, it was the least of the poor building’s problems.” In particular is the store’s “excessive signage.”

Verizon couldn’t be reached for comment, Brooklyn Papers says, but Lisi de Bourbon, a spokeswoman for the Landmarks Preservation Commission, says that the owner of the building plans to remove the illegal display box as part of a larger project to improve the storefront. The application for that project isn’t complete. Landmarks hasn’t issued a violation, at this point.

“We will continue to work in partnership with the owner to ensure the changes complies with the law,” de Bourbon says.

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  • David on Middagh

    I like BrooklynPaper.com’s serifed font. How long have they been using that? (Click the “story” link above.)

  • martinlbrooklyn

    Fair and equal treatment needs to be handed out when it comes to effectively and reasonably enforcing the rules. Why should the local optometrist be forced by Landmarks to jump through hoops to get his signage up? Why should the Cooks Companion on Atlantic Ave. be forced to rigorously comply with Landmarks and. then, why should the Big Guy be given a free pass to impose his loud, annoying, inappropriate signage, completely ignoring the rules the small guys are being forced to adhere to. Landmarks needs to treat everyone equally or let everyone run wild.

  • Lori

    Montague Street is a business district. That building was converted from a brownstone a long time ago, What’s the big deal?

  • stuart

    upgrading the look of that storefront is a good thing for everyone including verizon. the next step should be to teach the store staff rudimentary manners. the folks who work in that store are not just rude, they are nasty.

  • Wiley E.

    With the LPC, it’s all about the money. Somebody isn’t getting their palm serviced, otherwise you wouldn’t be hearing about this. It’s the Bloomberg way of ruining the city.

  • Andrew Porter

    So bribery and corruption work? Ever heard of the word “libel’?

  • David on Middagh

    This company goes overboard with its logo both in prominence and instances. The last time I visited my hometown in Vermont, there was their office, with big, out-of-place signage.

    Everyone here surely remembers that the building across the river which is now lit up with Giganto Letters and a check mark used to sport a discreet, brown bell.

  • http://www.facebook.com/john.kimbrough.1238 John Kimbrough

    We are so fortunate and lucky to live in a great country like The US and neighborhood and city like Brooklyn Heights and New York City….May God and The Buddha bless us all……..

  • MonroeOrange

    i completely agree, no one is marveling at the buildings on montague street. You all think that is bad…we should bring back the Blimpie’s! Then people would really complain!

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlsiLOnWCoI Arch Stanton

    Verizon, a vile, ugly company.

  • harumph

    It is this simplistic attitude that caused great neighborhoods to fall and buildings to be replaced all over the city. Ever hear of the preservation movement? Just because Blimpie’s once occupied space on Montague, and no one cared, doesn’t mean that it was okay, alright or tolerable.

  • MonroeOrange

    Actually, Blimpie was okay, alright and tolerable! My point is that, this has long been a business district block and the sign does little harm to the already crowded block. How about Sleepy’s sign next, or Hot Bagels signage always being on the blink. Or every other awning on the block, Custom House, Grand Canyon, the floursent lights of Five Guys. The whole store front on MontyQs. The block is ugly already, removing this sign will do nothing for the look of the block. I don’t think this sign will cause ‘neighborhoods to fall and buildings to be replaced’.

  • GHB

    …um, what?

  • Marathoner

    Please excuse my cynicism here, but are real human beings actually getting paid to care about this? And TWO organizations are spending time and money raising a fuss?

    There are hungry children in the world, people without good health care, and… add to the list: an illegal sign box on Montague St.!

    Please find something important to do with your time!

  • David on Middagh

    We read the Brooklyn Heights Blog! Just like you.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlsiLOnWCoI Arch Stanton

    The only corporate logo to trash the skyline, so obnoxious.

  • http://twitter.com/its_alexflores Alex Flores

    I’m less concerned about Verizon’s signage than I am about the scaffolding that’s been up across the street from the Archstone since 2010, over the Cohen’s Optical store. It’s been there for 3 YEARS! and the Historic Landmark whatever people haven’t dealt with that but are messing with a tin box and some banner signs???

  • s

    just for the record, I believe that Montague Street is an extremely charming, historic street filled with beautiful brownstones that house shops and restaurants on their first and second stories. Those who dismiss the street as being merely a “business district” whatever that means, sound like ignorant oafs. Montague Street is central to the historic district and its buildings and storefronts are protected and carefully regulated like any commercial street in any historic district from Nantucket to New Orleans.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlsiLOnWCoI Arch Stanton

    The scaffolding is there for safety. Landmarks has absolutely no authority regarding its presence.

  • Wiley E.

    B&C does work. It works hard everyday.

  • Wiley E.

    So are their customers. (Not saying that that is right, though.)