Here’s A Great Video About Modernity And Columbia Heights

From Karl Junkersfeld comes a new video “Modernity and Columbia Heights”. Here’s his intro:

Brooklyn Heights is a special locality. There is nothing like it anywhere in greater NYC. Two elements that can’t be matched are the tremendous views and the historic buildings that are prevalent throughout the Heights. One street that has more than its share of historic structures is Columbia Heights. For the purposes of this video, I will include Pierrepont Place as part of Columbia Heights considering that it was part of what was called Columbia Street before Pierrepont decided that he wanted a dedicated location named after his family.

Many of the buildings that were present then are still there today with a few exceptions such as the Cornell House and One Pierrepont Place. Fortunately, we had the Brooklyn Heights Association, with special mention to Otis Pearsall, to save the day by convincing Mayor Wagner to institute landmark status to the Brooklyn Heights district. Many districts were soon to follow.

After the Brooklyn Bridge was constructed, the ease of accessing Brooklyn Heights created a virtual stampede. Taller residential buildings were soon erected on Montague Street and Hotels like St George and Hotel Margaret attracted many visitors and residents alike.

Part One hopes to provide a glimpse into the past and Part Two a look at the present with particular attention to a new condo development at 183 Columbia Heights that recently came to market.

Share this Story:
  • Arch Stanton

    Correction: The Berkley and Grosvenor are 8 stories, not 7.

  • Lois

    Very interesting. Thanks Karl. I eagerly await Part Two.

  • Karl Junkersfeld


    Thanks for paying so close attention to the video to pick up this most interesting feature of the of both the Grosvenor and Berkeley. The 8th floor, which is inset into the roof, is technically called a dormer not a story.

    “At the top, dormers sporting swan’s-neck pediments define the ends, with a gabled dormer in the middle.”

    Taken from :
    “An Architectural Guidebook to Brooklyn” written by none other than our friend Francis Morrone.

    Definition of a dormer:

    1. A window set vertically into a small gable projecting from a sloping roof.
    2. The gable holding such a window.

  • Arch Stanton

    That definition does not preclude the 8th floor of the buildings from being considered a story, at least not in this case. The buildings have 8 floors with 4 apartments on all floors except the 1st. They have a flat roof, only the front of the 8th floor is sloping and best described as a Mansard with dormers. It is an architectural detail.
    In the case of say a single or two family home with a totally sloped roof (with or without dormers) the area within the roof is considered an attic and not considered a story or floor.

  • Karl Junkersfeld


  • Jorale-man

    Great video. I’ve seen a lot of historic photos of the Heights but many of these were new to me. The waterfront always looks so bucolic in shots of the early neighborhood – before shipping industry and the BQE.