Public gardens revealed at former Jehovah’s Witnesses HQ in Brooklyn Heights

February 24, 2020

As the former Jehovah’s Witnesses headquarters continues its transformation into a modern, five-building mixed-use complex in Brooklyn Heights, photos of the project’s first phase have been revealed. Designed by landscape architecture firm terrain, the former Watchtower complex, now known as Panorama, features three public gardens at grade level, as well as an architectural staircase. An open-air courtyard facing Furman Street will serve as a landscaped pocket park steps from the Brooklyn Bridge and Brooklyn Bridge Park.

The public outdoor space, which opened last summer, is meant to engage passersby with an inviting landscape of trees, greenery, and unique seating. As Brooklyn Eagle reported, the area also includes a “selfie platform,” which sits in front of the Brooklyn Bridge and offers a picture-perfect view.

The site, originally home to pharmaceutical company ER Squibb & Sons, consists of five interconnected 19th-century brick and timber buildings, that have undergone a gut renovation.

Developers CIM Group, Kushner Companies, and LIVWRK acquired the Watchtower building, located at 25-30 Columbia Heights, in 2016 for $340 million. Kushner, which held just a 2.5 percent share in the project, sold its stake in the properties in June 2018.

Led by Gensler, the renovation retained some historic architectural elements, including its double-height ceilings and connective sky bridge, while incorporating modern touches in the lobby and rooftop. In total, Panorama includes 635,000 square feet of flexible office space, 35,000 square feet of retail, and 55,000 square feet of outdoor space across 20 terraces.

Photo by Will Femia

Last year, the iconic “Watchtower” sign atop the development was removed and replaced with a new “Welcome” sign. Designed by architect Morris Adjmi, the sign measures 15-feet high and 80-feet wide.


All photos courtesy of Terrain

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