Artist proposes installing a Hollywood-style ‘Brooklyn!’ sign to attract visitors

Posted On Tue, July 25, 2017 By

Posted On Tue, July 25, 2017 By In Art, Brooklyn

A rendering of the proposed Brooklyn sign in place of the “Watchtower” sign. Image courtesy of Susanna Briselli.

“Brooklyn is a potent idea as well as a place,” according to Susanna Briselli, who explains in the Brooklyn Eagle that the borough’s name “summons vivid images and associations.” Briselli, who is an artist and photographer, suggests this potent chemistry is a compelling enough reason to create an enormous free-standing illuminated sign that reads “Brooklyn!” The massive work would be used to draw in more visitors and increase value, placed where the soon-to-be removed “Watchtower” sign in Brooklyn Heights now stands, or at another highly visible site such as Pier 7.


Brooklyn Sign
Daytime rendering of the proposed Brooklyn sign at Pier 7. Image courtesy of Susanna Briselli.

Brooklyn Sign
Nighttime rendering of the proposed Brooklyn sign at Pier 7. Image courtesy of Susanna Briselli.

The sign, Briselli believes, would “become an immediate icon much like the famous Hollywood sign, the St. Louis Arch, the London Ferris Wheel, the Eiffel Tower.” And why not? She points out that there’s really no down side. Clearly familiar with the “if you can see it, you can buy it” theory that drives New York City real estate, she points out that the sign would rack up views and therefore value for any property that hosts it. She also mentions that it certainly wouldn’t be bad PR for the owners.

Brooklyn SignNighttime rendering of the proposed Brooklyn sign in place of the “Watchtower” sign. Image courtesy of Susanna Briselli.

Watchtower, Jehovah's Witnesses, 25-30 Columbia Heights

As 6sqft previously reported, the current focus on visible-from-everywhere signs and the iconic potency of Brooklyn stems from the impending demise of the familiar red neon “Watchtower” sign erected by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, who have owned the massive Brooklyn Heights complex beneath it for nearly 50 years. The Witnesses have sold the building that served as their headquarters and decamped for Warwick, NY; the sign is scheduled to leave along with them.

The religious group’s former 733,000-square-foot world headquarters at 25-30 Columbia Heights was sold for $340 million to Kushner Cos., (as in Donald Trump son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner) CIM Group and LIVWRK, who also bought the group’s 1.1-million square-foot as-of-right development site at 85 Jay Street last August.

The new owners recently revealed their plan to convert the Columbia Heights property into an office complex featuring roughly 635,000 square feet of office space and about 35,000 square feet of stores and public space for arts and culture. The complex will be dubbed “Panorama.”

The CEO and founder of LIVWRK, Asher Abehsera says he envisions the office space to be leased to one internationally-recognized tenant. “The renaissance of residential development in Brooklyn has been very robust and added thousands of units to the market,” he said. “Where are all these people going to work? People want to walk local, eat local, work out local and work local.”

No word yet as to whether there will be a sign.

[Via Brooklyn Eagle]

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Images courtesy of Susanna Briselli

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Neighborhoods : Brooklyn Heights

  • Mark Henselt

    You mean visitors to NYC have not heard of Brooklyn and have no idea where it is?
    When I tell acquaintances all over the world that I live in Brooklyn, THEY start telling ME about the place !

  • Jack Jones

    Rape cover-ups by Jehovah’s Witnesses as investigated by NBC Dateline:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbKXj8R4_X8&t=15s

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