Krogius: What Does a Landmark Make?

Henrik Krogius’ editorial in the Brooklyn Eagle about Brooklyn Heights landmarks raises many great points on how the collective perspective on what makes certain buildings timeless changes over the years:

Brooklyn Eagle: At the time of that pioneering landmark movement Brooklyn Heights was by no means all low-rise. In among the three- to five-story houses were such high-rises as the Franklin Trust Company at 166 Montague Street (now undergoing residential conversion), hotels such as the St. George, Bossert, Margaret and Standish Arms, and apartment buildings like those at 161 Henry Street, 200 Hicks Street, 1 Pierrepont Street, 2 Montague Terrace and 80 Cranberry Street (The Cranlyn). It can be argued that these buildings and others provided a welcome relief in scale and style to the monotony of unbroken rows of same-height buildings – making the Heights visually more interesting than, say, much of Park Slope. That, however, was not part of the argument for historic preservation, whose emphasis was on the number of buildings dating to 1860 or earlier. “Historic” essentially meant being at least 100 years old.

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