LPC sends again proposal to develop store in Brooklyn Heights

The architects behind a proposal for a top and rear extension to a commercial building at 135 Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights must come back and try again, the Landmarks Preservation Commission said Tuesday.

The building, which was built between 1920 and 1929, was previously the home of the preppy clothing retailer Banana Republic, which closed in 2016. It currently houses the chain’s CityMD emergency clinic.

Eli M. Dweck is listed as the owner in the property files.

Photo by Susan De Vries

At the hearing, the commissioners had various suggestions for Marin Architects, the office behind the project.

“I think the design is appropriate, but think [the addition] could be moved back, ”said Commissioner Michael Devonshire. “And I would like to see it reduced by a story.”

Moving the extension back and seeing it reduced to one floor was supported to varying degrees by most builders, who thought one or the other could save the original building from subsuming.

brooklyn architecture 135 montague street

Rendered by Marin Architects via the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission

But others disagreed entirely.

“I don’t think that rolling back will do any good,” said Commissioner Michael Goldblum. Instead, he suggested that the architects take a look at the color: Instead of matching the existing building, he suggested making the extension darker, “in deliberate contrast to the listed building”.

Commissioner Wellington Chen suggested that rolling back the addition might actually have the opposite effect, making it stand out more.

brooklyn architecture 135 montague street rendering

Rendered by Marin Architects via the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission

LPC chairman Meenakshi Srinivasan’s suggestions were somewhere in between. She didn’t think putting the annex back would make any difference, but agreed with Devonshire that the annex needed to be reduced to one story.

She had reservations about the idea of ​​contrasting the extension with the original building. “I think it’s going to get worse,” she said.

Architects have different approaches to moving forward, she concluded.

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