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City will soon decide if Brooklyn’s Watchtower sign will be replaced

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The Department of Buildings previously denied developers permission to install a new sign

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On November 8, the city’s Board of Standards and Appeals will decide whether owners of 30 Columbia Heights, the Brooklyn Heights building that was home to the iconic Watchtower sign up until last December, can place new signage on its rooftop, reports the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

In August, the Department of Buildings denied the Columbia Heights Associates (the consortium of developers that purchased the Jehovah’s Witnesses Watchtower building complex) permission to replace the sign, stating that there was no evidence that the sign was issued a permit to be installed in the first place. However, the attorneys for the developers fired back by highlighting the DOB’s own admission of having limited availability to old agency records.

The Watchtower sign was installed in 1970, replacing a sign from the previous building owner, pharmaceutical company E.R. Squibb & Sons, who installed their sign in 1961. Lawyers were also able to unearth a DOB document from 1961 that had an annotation about an application for the 1961 sign, indicating that it may have been approved.

Developers are planning to transform the five-building complex into offices, retail, and public space. According to its most recent plans, the two buildings at 25 and 30 Columbia Heights will feature 600,000 square feet of office space and will be connected by a skybridge.