Brooklyn’s iconic ‘Watchtower’ sign coming down to make way for Kushner’s Panorama office complex

June 27, 2017

For nearly 50 years, the neon red 15-foot-tall ‘Watchtower’ sign has sat atop the former headquarters of the Jehovah’s Witnesses luminously overlooking Brooklyn Heights. However, earlier this month, the religious group filed a permit application seeking to remove the sign. According to The Real Deal, this comes almost a year after developers Kushner Companies, CIM Group and LIVWRK Holdings purchased the spot at 25-30 Columbia Heights for $340 million with plans to convert the building into a 635,000-square-foot office complex, “Panorama.”

Panorama, Watchtower, Volley Studio
Rendering courtesy of Columbia Heights Associates and Volley Studio

Documents filed with the city’s Department of Buildings show the removal of the letters will cost about $70,500. The framework of the sign will stay in place. According to the Witnesses’ website, the sign’s red lights were swapped out for LEDs in 2009, which saved the organization nearly $4,000 annually in maintenance. The Jehovah’s Witnesses will be moving their headquarters to Warwick, New York.

Renderings of the proposed Panorama complex were unveiled in May after the developers officially purchased the site last summer. Kushner Companies, CIM Group and LIVWRK Holdings hope to turn its three 19th century brick and timber buildings into offices as well as additional space for retail and outdoor space. Soon, the developers plan on tearing down most of the interior walls, stripping the floors and ceiling to their base, reglazing the windows and shaving the columns. The design plans to keep some of the building’s original architectural features like its connective sky bridges, terraces and roof decks. Notably, the renderings show the Watchtower sign, but without its neon red letters.

[Via The Real Deal]


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