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Brooklyn will get ‘Welcome’ sign at former Watchtower building

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The new sign will be installed at the end of the month

A “Welcome” sign atop of a building in the Brooklyn waterfront. Courtesy of CIM Group/LIVWRK

Almost two years after the iconic Watchtower sign was taken down, Brooklyn will be getting a new one to replace it; and it will read “Welcome,” the New York Post first reported.

In 2016, Jehovah’s Witnesses sold their HQ building at 30 Columbia Heights to Columbia Heights Associates, a consortium of developers including LIVWRK and CIM Group, who are currently building an office complex dubbed Panorama at the site. In December 2017, the iconic Watchtower sign—which had been put in place by the Witnesses in 1970— was removed.

The Department of Buildings initially denied Columbia Heights Associates permission to replace the sign, arguing that they had not issued a permit for the original sign to be installed in the first place. But lawyers for the developers pointed to documents from 1961 detailing an application to install the sign filed by the previous owners, pharmaceutical company E.R. Squibb & Sons. Finally, last November, the Board of Standards and Appeals green lighted the developers’s plans to replace the sign.

A view of the Brooklyn waterfront and the “Welcome” sign atop the Panorama complex.
A rendering of the new “Welcome” sign to be placed in Brooklyn Heights.

Now, come the end of October, a new sign will be installed. It will have red lettering, resembling the Watchtower sign, and will read “Welcome” to reinforce “the idea that Brooklyn is an inviting place for companies to set up shop,” the developers told Curbed.

“For decades these buildings and their surroundings were closed to the public, and we wanted our renovation to celebrate Panorama becoming an accessible and vital part of the new fabric of the Brooklyn waterfront,” Jason Schreiber, principal of investments at CIM Group, said in a statement. “To our neighbors, tenants and the entire city, ‘Welcome’ reflects this message.”