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Brooklyn’s new ‘Welcome’ sign debuts on former Watchtower building

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The new sign replaces the “Watchtower” sign that had long perched atop 30 Columbia Heights

Will Femia

Goodbye, “Watchtower”; hello … “Welcome”?

The illuminated sign that once sat atop the Jehovah’s Witnesses massive Watchtower complex in Brooklyn Heights has officially been replaced. This week, the new sign—which, indeed, reads “Welcome” in 15-foot-tall red letters—was installed on the building at 30 Columbia Heights, which is currently undergoing a transformation into an office complex called Panorama.

The Witnesses installed the original “Watchtower” sign in 1969, when the group moved into the Brooklyn Heights building. It remained there until 2017, when the building’s new owners, a consortium of developers that includes LIVWRK and CIM Group, dismantled it during construction on the new Panorama complex. A battle between the developers and the city over what, exactly, could replace the bright red beacon followed, with the Board of Standards and Appeals finally decreeing in 2018 that a new sign could be erected.

Which brings us to today: According to the developers, the new signage was created by Morris Adjmi Architects, measures 80 feet long, and will keep the time and temperature display that has long been a part of the building. It’ll be illuminated for the first time this Wednesday, November 27, to coincide with the 50-year anniversary of when the “Watchtower” sign was originally lit.

Will Femia