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Two Brooklyn Heights bank buildings are NYC’s newest landmarks

They’re different in style, but united in being brand new landmarks

183 Montague Street

In its second meeting of 2017, the Landmarks Preservation Commission added two more Brooklyn buildings to the extensive roster of protected New York City structures. Two bank buildings in Brooklyn Heights—181 and 185 Montague Street, both between Court and Clinton streets—were named landmarks by the LPC, with chair Meenakshi Srinivasan saying that “they are striking examples of the optimistic architecture of their times—one looking to the past to convey stability and reliability, and one looking to future growth and success.”

L-R: The Brooklyn Trust Company building, now condos; 183 Montague Street; 185 Montague Street, circa 1976
Museum of the City of New York’s Digital Collection

The older of the two is the neoclassical building at 181 Montague Street, which is currently home to a Citibank branch. It was originally built at the turn of the 20th century as a home for the People’s Trust Company, and it has many of the hallmarks of a neoclassical building: huge columns (each of which weighs 28 tons), a pediment with extensive ornamentation, and the like.

Its neighbor at 185 Montague Street, meanwhile, is far more modern; it was built around 1929, and exhibits some of the characteristics of Art Deco architecture, including geometric decorations at the bottom, and a stepped crown. It was designed by Corbett, Harrison & MacMurray, one of the architecture firms involved in the creation of Rockefeller Center.

Together with the Brooklyn Trust Company building at 177 Montague Street (which has since gone condo), these buildings make up a significant portion of a block that was once known as “Bank Row”; in her remarks, Srinivasan noted that the LPC’s designations today “complete the … collection of historic financial services institutions that highlight the commercial history of this important Brooklyn corridor.”