Watchtower to Sell Standish Arms

The Brooklyn Eagle reports today that the Watchtower will soon announce plans to sell the Standish Arms Hotel on Columbia Heights:  

The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society —the Jehovah’s Witnesses — will be offering for sale the large property it owns at 169-171 Columbia Heights, formerly the Standish Arms Hotel, this newspaper has learned from several sources.

The Witnesses have owned this 12-story, 75-foot-wide building since 1988 and have used it for residential purposes for their personnel. A spokesperson for the Watchtower said he could make no comment right now, but added that ther  may be an official statement next week.

Neighborhood residents and business people reached by the Eagle were surprised at the specific news, but not about the divestiture in general. The Watchtower has been in the process of reorganizing its operations, transferring many of them to facilities in upstate New York.

The hotel was the scene of one of the FDNY's most dramatic rescues in 1966. 

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  • hkjh

    wouldn’t it be great if a small hotel moved in?

    I suspect the Witnesses are planning of selling all their BH properties within next 5 years but don’t want to flood the market all at once.

  • Qfwfq

    Fascinating, I was wondering why I have been seeing moving trucks and a constant outward flow of furniture on an almost daily basis there.

  • bongo

    As the FDNY link points out, this was one of the FDNY’s most dramatic rescue ATTEMPTS. Unfortunately, it was unsuccessful.

  • Homer Fink

    Thanks bongo, I was trying to keep things upbeat.

  • bsh

    There goes the neighborhood. Less clean-cut = more riff-raff


    Maybe a taxpaying owner will take over and contribute to the neighborhood!

  • Fred Franz

    The profit from the sale will help pay for the salary increases that are planned for the Bethel Family.

  • Fred Hall

    The profit sale will help pay for the expansion of the worldwide preaching work and Jehovah’s Witnesses are the only ones are doing it.

  • rjones

    Some of my friends at Bethel said that the WTBTS was having some financial problems, especially since lots of members are “drifting away” due to the reorganization of “Jehovahs organization”. Maybe due to changes in the doctrine of 1914, or when the worlds going to be destroyed date setting issues. Hopefully a friendly person will take over & pay taxes like the rest of us.

  • Amy Wong

    The Watchtower religion seems to be fading away. I think that they are having a lot of problems with their ministers not handling sex abuse cases properly. I read about this on

    Maybe they are having problems with their policy on letting children die without blood transfusions or it could be that shunning former members is not Chirst-like.

    Either way, another good building back on the tax rolls would be good.

  • Andrew

    Yeah this last comment kinda sums up what people think of a good religion with clean cut people who cause no problems for this Brooklyn Heights neighborhood. This is just a standard sale of a old Hotel that needs maintance to keep it up. Why are people talking about this policy and that policy?
    Some bitter people out their, I guess we woke you up on a Saturday morning.

  • Nathan Knott

    I though some Brooklyn Heights residents might appreciate this t-shirt design:

  • Claude Scales

    Nathan: I don’t get it. What/who is “Jaraczic”? My Google search only shows that it’s some “Green Urban Legend” connected with the Witnesses. Can you provide more details?

  • Homer Fink

    CS – it refers to JW head Ted Jaracz who, among other things, is accused of being old fashioned and non-progressive by current and former members. He’s also the subject of some pretty nasty (unproven) criminal accusations and rumors.

  • Claude Scales

    Thanks, HF. I’m not that well-versed on matters theocratical.

  • http://none Jerome

    All Bethel family members take a vow of poverty. None receive any salary nor work on outside jobs. The money from the sale of Standish Arms will go into the World Wide Work. It will be used to build new Kingdom Halls and be used to further the World Wide Ministry. There are 4,300 baptized every week. The work is expanding everywhere.

    People yearn for better government. God’s Kingdom is the only solution to the problems today. It is under His Kingdom Government that justice will be done. It is the only government to guarantee peace. People who have a spiritual thirst are finding the Bible’s waters of life. We are privileged to share this hope with others.

  • curiousgeorge

    J – that’s only if I’m not gay or worship false gods right?


    It always amazes me how people can claim to know the a lot about JW’s, yet….be so in the dark! If you wanted to know how to fix a car, would you look in a receipe book? No….you would go to the manual for the car! JW’s use the bible as their only guide in life. They try, even though imperfect, to adhere to all the principles in the bible. It also amazes me how some can be so arrogant about what they think they know about JW’s….yet refuse to open their minds and bibles to find the truth!


    Oh, and to ‘curiousgeorge’….sweetie, read what the bible says about being gay or worshiping false gods. It’s not what JW’s say…it’s what the BIBLE says! I Cor 6:9-11; Lev 20:13

  • Fred Hall

    Why would people want more tax rolls?

    A greater goal would be for Brooklyn to eliminate taxes by eliminating the need.

    Unfortunately there are losers like Amy Wong and who do not know anything about the Watchtower.

    Since the printing work is moving to Walkill it is not necessary to have the Standish anymore.

  • Homer Fink

    I’m going to lock this thread. We’re gentle hippies here. Go in peace.