Jump to content
The World News Media

Watchtower sign was illegal, Buildings Department says


Guest Nicole
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • Guest
Guest Nicole

Legal fight begins over former Jehovah's Witnesses' Brooklyn Heights HQ sign

By Lore Croghan

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

The famous Watchtower sign was illegal for its entire half-century existence.

The Squibb sign that originally stood in its place was illegal, too.

That's the city Buildings Department's stunning assertion — and its rationale for why it denied the owner of the former Jehovah's Witnesses' headquarters in Brooklyn Heights permission to replace the Watchtower sign atop 30 Columbia Heights.

The property's owner, Columbia Heights Associates, is appealing the city agency's decision.

Lawyers for the landlord and the Buildings Department duked it out at a city Board of Standards and Appeals hearing Tuesday night at Spector Hall in Lower Manhattan.

As a consequence of this legal battle, the void in Brooklyn's shoreline scenery that was created by the Watchtower sign's removal will remain for at least three more months. The next Board of Standards and Appeals hearing concerning this issue won't take place until Oct. 23.

 

    Hello guest!

'Iconic presence on the Brooklyn skyline'  

The red electric Watchtower sign had been “an iconic presence on the Brooklyn skyline,” attorney David Karnovsky of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP said during his testimony on behalf of Columbia Heights Associates.

Workers removed the iconic Watchtower sign's 15-foot-tall letters in December and left standing a flashing electric sign that shows the time and temperature.

The Watchtower sign had been visible from Brooklyn Bridge Park, the Brooklyn Bridge and Lower Manhattan.

The Jehovah's Witnesses installed it in 1970, the year after buying 25-30 Columbia Heights from E.R. Squibb & Sons.

The Watchtower sign replaced a Squibb sign the pharmaceutical company had installed in 1961.

 

    Hello guest!
The partly golden-hued, partly blue buildings are the former Jehovah's Witnesses' headquarters, where the Watchtower sign was removed. Eagle photo by Lore Croghan
 

Did Squibb get a permit to install its sign?

The key argument by Timothy McKernan, the Buildings Department's assistant general counsel, is that there's no evidence Squibb obtained a permit to install its rooftop sign.

To counter that argument, Karnovsky testified that the agency acknowledges the availability of old Buildings Department records is limited.

Nevertheless, his team managed to find a 1961 Buildings Department ledger with a notation about an application to put a roof sign on top of 30 Columbia Heights. The estimated cost of erecting the sign was $20,000.

A Buildings Department employee's signature of approval appears in the ledger notation.

Karnovsky's team also found other documentation suggesting Squibb got a permit for sign construction.

Concerning the current situation with the iconic Watchtower sign, McKernan said in his testimony that putting new sign letters on framework that was left atop 30 Columbia Heights would constitute a structural alteration — and that's not permissible, he asserted.

Karnovsky countered that an engineer's study determined the framework is “a complete and viable structure” and the sign letters are not structural elements.

 

    Hello guest!
A flashing sign that remains atop the old headquarters of the Jehovah's Witnesses tells the time and temperature. Eagle photo by Lore Croghan

Jehovah's Witnesses moved upstate after headquarters sale

Columbia Heights Associates bought the five-building Watchtower headquarters complex for $340 million in 2016.

The Jehovah's Witnesses sold 25-30 Columbia Heights because they relocated their world headquarters to upstate Warwick, New York.

Columbia Heights Associates is redeveloping the property, which is across the street from Brooklyn Bridge Park, into an office and retail complex called Panorama.

Columbia Heights Associates is a joint venture made up of CIM Group and LIVWRK Holdings. Kushner Cos. initially was part of the joint venture but sold its stake in the property to CIM Group this year.

Jared Kushner headed Kushner Cos. until he stepped aside to serve as senior adviser to his father-in-law, President Donald Trump.

 

    Hello guest!
Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • Views 506
  • Replies 0
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Popular Days

Popular Days

 Share

  • Similar Content

    • By The Librarian
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Watch closely — because you might not see it again.
      The Watchtower sign, a Brooklyn waterfront icon for 70 years, was taken down on Wednesday from atop the former JehovahÂ’s Witnesses building at 30 Columbia St.
      The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society is moving to upstate Warwick. The nonprofit sold five Dumbo buildings last year for $340 million to a joint venture of Kushner Companies, CIM Group and LIVWRK, which plans to turn the properties into an office complex called Panorama.
      The letters are each 15 feet tall and weigh up to 860 pounds. A sign named for a future office tenant will eventually replace them. The old letters will be reinstalled at the societyÂ’s new headquarters.

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  
      I was there on the last day to see these letters come down. It was a sad moment. 
      Eerily, after being all over Manhattan this week I saw ZERO JW's witnessing in the streets or subways. 
      The silence is deafening.

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
    • By Bible Speaks
      The "present ideas to replace the Watchtower sign", now that the building has been sold.
      Bye Brooklyn ?? On to the Kings Drive, Warwick, New York

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.




  • Recently Browsing

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Popular Contributors

  • Topics

  • Posts

  • Members

    • BroRando

      BroRando 143

      Member
      Joined:
      Last active:
    • Srecko Sostar

      Srecko Sostar 2,362

      Member
      Joined:
      Last active:
    • Pudgy

      Pudgy 196

      Member
      Joined:
      Last active:
  • Recent Status Updates

    • misette  »  Gilles h

      Bonsoir Gilles
      S'il te plait, aurais-tu le samedi après-midi de l'assemblée régionale 2021
      Je te remercie
       
      · 2 replies
    • Eric Ouellet

      Soyons reconnaissant devant toutes ses oeuvres
       
      Le Dieu des dieux, Jéhovah, parle ;
      il convoque la terre
      depuis le soleil levant jusqu’au soleil couchant.
      De Sion, la perfection de la beauté, Dieu rayonne.
      Notre Dieu viendra et ne pourra pas garder le silence.
      Il y a un feu dévorant devant lui,
      et une violente tempête fait rage autour de lui.
      Il convoque les cieux et la terre
      pour juger son peuple :
       « Rassemblez auprès de moi mes fidèles,
      ceux qui concluent une alliance avec moi par un sacrifice. »
      Les cieux proclament sa justice,
      car Dieu lui-même est Juge. (Sèla.)
       « Écoute, ô mon peuple, je vais parler ;
      ô Israël, je vais témoigner contre toi.
      Je suis Dieu, ton Dieu.
      Ce n’est pas pour tes sacrifices que je te réprimande,
      ni pour tes holocaustes, qui sont constamment devant moi.
      Je n’ai pas besoin de prendre un taureau de ta maison
      ni des boucs de tes enclos.
      Car tous les animaux sauvages de la forêt m’appartiennent,
      même les bêtes sur mille montagnes.
      Je connais tous les oiseaux des montagnes;
      les innombrables animaux des champs sont à moi.
      Si j’avais faim, je ne te le dirais pas,
      car le sol productif m’appartient, avec tout ce qui s’y trouve.
      Vais-je manger la viande des taureaux
      et boire le sang des boucs?
      Offre en sacrifice à Dieu ta reconnaissance
      et acquitte-toi des vœux que tu as faits au Très-Haut;
      appelle-moi en temps de détresse.
      Je te secourrai, et tu me glorifieras. »
      Mais Dieu dira au méchant :
      « De quel droit récites-tu mes prescriptions
      ou parles-tu de mon alliance?
      Car tu détestes la discipline,
      et sans cesse tu tournes le dos à mes paroles.
      Quand tu vois un voleur, tu l’approuves,
      et tu fréquentes les personnes adultères.
      Avec ta bouche, tu répands le mal,
      et tu attaches la tromperie à ta langue.
      Tu t’assieds et tu parles contre ton frère;
      tu révèles les défauts du fils de ta propre mère.
      Quand tu faisais ces choses, je gardais le silence,
      alors tu t’es dit que j’étais comme toi.
      Mais, à présent, je vais te réprimander
      et exposer ce que j’ai contre toi.
      Réfléchissez à ceci, s’il vous plaît, vous qui oubliez Dieu,
      sinon je vous déchirerai et il n’y aura personne pour vous secourir.
      Celui qui offre en sacrifice sa reconnaissance me glorifie ;
      et à celui qui est déterminé à bien agir
      je ferai voir le salut de Dieu. »

      · 0 replies
    • Eric Ouellet

      Dieu aime les prières et la sincérité de ses serviteurs humbles
       
      Dieu aime la bonté de coeur envers autrui et non aux sacrifices et holocaustes d'animaux sauvages et domistiques.
      Dans ton amour fidèle, accorde-moi ta faveur, ô Dieu.
      Dans ta grande miséricorde, efface mes transgressions.
      Lave-moi complètement de ma faute
      et purifie-moi de mon péché.
      Car je suis bien conscient de mes transgressions,
      et mon péché est constamment devant moi.
      C’est contre toi que j'ai failli, oui j'ai fait le mal
      devant tes yeux.
      Ainsi, tu es juste quand tu parles,
      tu es droit quand tu juges.
      Vois ! Je suis né coupable
      et, depuis l’instant où ma mère m’a conçu, je suis pécheur.
      Vois ! Tu prends plaisir à la vérité dans le fond du cœur;
      enseigne-moi la vraie sagesse, au plus profond de moi.
      Purifie-moi de mon péché avec l’hysope, pour que je sois pur;
      lave-moi, pour que je sois plus blanc que la neige.
      Fais-moi entendre le son de l’allégresse et de la joie,
      pour que les os que tu as broyés se réjouissent.
      Détourne ton visage de mes péchés
      et efface toutes mes fautes.
      Crée en moi un cœur pur, ô Dieu,
      et mets en moi un esprit nouveau, ferme.
      Ne me chasse pas de ta présence ;
      ne m’enlève pas ton esprit saint.
      Redonne-moi la joie d’être sauvé par toi;
      éveille en moi la volonté de t’obéir.
      Je veux enseigner tes chemins aux transgresseurs,
      pour que les pécheurs reviennent à toi.
      Libère-moi de la culpabilité de meurtre, ô Dieu, mon Dieu sauveur,
      pour que ma langue puisse proclamer joyeusement ta justice.
      Ô Jéhovah, ouvre mes lèvres
      pour que ma bouche proclame ta louange.
      Car tu ne veux pas de sacrifices — autrement, j’en donnerais ;
      tu ne prends pas plaisir aux holocaustes.
      Le sacrifice qui plaît à Dieu, c’est un esprit brisé ;
      un cœur brisé et broyé, ô Dieu, tu ne le rejetteras pas.
      Dans ta bienveillance, agis pour le bien de Sion ;
      bâtis les murailles de Jérusalem.
      Alors tu prendras plaisir aux sacrifices de justice,
      aux holocaustes et aux offrandes totales ;
      alors on offrira des taureaux sur ton autel.


      · 0 replies
    • Eric Ouellet

      Dieu aime les prières et la sincérité de ses serviteurs humbles
       
      Dieu aime la bonté de coeur envers autrui et non aux sacrifices et holocaustes d'animaux sauvages et domistiques.
      Dans ton amour fidèle, accorde-moi ta faveur, ô Dieu.
      Dans ta grande miséricorde, efface mes transgressions.
      Lave-moi complètement de ma faute
      et purifie-moi de mon péché.
      Car je suis bien conscient de mes transgressions,
      et mon péché est constamment devant moi.
      C’est contre toi que j'ai failli, oui j'ai fait le mal
      devant tes yeux.
      Ainsi, tu es juste quand tu parles,
      tu es droit quand tu juges.
      Vois ! Je suis né coupable
      et, depuis l’instant où ma mère m’a conçu, je suis pécheur.
      Vois ! Tu prends plaisir à la vérité dans le fond du cœur;
      enseigne-moi la vraie sagesse, au plus profond de moi.
      Purifie-moi de mon péché avec l’hysope, pour que je sois pur;
      lave-moi, pour que je sois plus blanc que la neige.
      Fais-moi entendre le son de l’allégresse et de la joie,
      pour que les os que tu as broyés se réjouiss.
      Détourne ton visage de mes péchés
      et efface toutes mes fautes.
      Crée en moi un cœur pur, ô Dieu,
      et mets en moi un esprit nouveau, ferme.
      Ne me chasse pas de ta présence ;
      ne m’enlève pas ton esprit saint.
      Redonne-moi la joie d’être sauvé par toi;
      éveille en moi la volonté de t’obéir.
      Je veux enseigner tes chemins aux transgresseurs,
      pour que les pécheurs reviennent à toi.
      Libère-moi de la culpabilité de meurtre, ô Dieu, mon Dieu sauveur,
      pour que ma langue puisse proclamer joyeusement ta justice.
      Ô Jéhovah, ouvre mes lèvres
      pour que ma bouche proclame ta louange.
      Car tu ne veux pas de sacrifices — autrement, j’en donnerais ;
      tu ne prends pas plaisir aux holocaustes.
      Le sacrifice qui plaît à Dieu, c’est un esprit brisé ;
      un cœur brisé et broyé, ô Dieu, tu ne le rejetteras pas.
      Dans ta bienveillance, agis pour le bien de Sion ;
      bâtis les murailles de Jérusalem.
      Alors tu prendras plaisir aux sacrifices de justice,
      aux holocaustes et aux offrandes totales ;
      alors on offrira des taureaux sur ton autel.


    • Shirley Lowery

      Hello to all my Spiritual Brothers and Sisters! I haven't been on here in a while, because as of August 17, 2021, I moved to Commerce, Texas! I was on the Commerce Housing Authority Waiting list since 2019!  I was selected to receive my one bedroom apartment, with my Chihuahua, with my precious Babyboy, who is now 16 years old! and I signed my lease on August 5, 2021, and had my gas turned on! We have a very small Congregation of 71 publishers, including me!  I haven't been to our beautiful Kingdomhall yet, but I did take some photos of the outside of it! I'm praying that we are one of the Congregations, chosen to start attending in person, our pilot meetings that many countries are now attending! Puerto Rico, Chile, and Australia are a few chosen right now! There's three Shirley's in my Congregation!  Two elderly sisters, one is white, she's No.1 , and another  elderly sister who is black, she's No.2, and I'm ShirleyL3!  One sister lovingly named me that! I feel special now! I haven't been given an assignment yet, but soon I will!  I really enjoyed our "POWERFUL by FAITH" Regional Convention so much!  We needed all the Spiritual Encouragement which focused on all of us! Also, all those beautiful videos, and the real life experiences! July 29, 1972, was my baptism date! 49 years now, serving Jehovah! I was 15 when I dedicated my life to serve Jehovah! I'm 64 years young now, and still faithfully serving Jehovah! I do telephone witnessing now! Which lots of people hang up on me, but I'm used to it now! All that matters is that I'm giving Jehovah my best!  I'm so excited about our Special Campaign now!  Only Jehovah reads hearts!  Hopefully lots of people will show some interest!  This year 2021 is almost over! I received both doses of Moderna, and have to wait till I turn 65 in May, to receive my Booster shot! We lost over 17, 000 brothers and sisters to Covid-19! My prayers are with them and their families! Soon, as Jehovah has promised, they will welcome their loved ones back in their lives, during the resurrection! I love it here so much, everyone is very friendly! I just love my Congregation too! I hope everyone makes their personal decision to get vaccinated! Also I hope everyone has a great rest of 2021! Let's see what Jehovah has in store for us in 2022! Were having our Circuit Assembly on November 27, 2021!  Take care of yourselves, be safe, and always trust in Jehovah!!!  Have a great weekend everybody, agape love, Sister Shirley Ann Lowery! 
      · 1 reply
  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
      64.2k
    • Total Posts
      135k
  • Member Statistics

    • Total Members
      17,139
    • Most Online
      1,592

    Newest Member
    Vincent Reyes
    Joined
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Service Confirmation Terms of Use Privacy Policy Guidelines We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.