Designation date: May, 2011
The substantial neo-Classical style Brooklyn Union Gas Company Building was constructed in 1914 as the new headquarters for the borough’s oldest and most important utility company and was designed by noted architect Frank Freeman. The Brooklyn Union Gas Company traces its origins to 1824 when a group of entrepreneurs including Joseph Sprague and Alden Spooner proposed establishing the Brooklyn Gas Light Company. Competition between the gas companies grew particularly heated in the 1880s but all seven of the major Brooklyn firms eventually merged in 1895 to form the Brooklyn Union Gas Company.
As an indication of its success, in 1912 the company began to plan for a new headquarters and inaugurated this building in 1914. Frank Freeman’s design for the Brooklyn Union Gas Company Building employs the Classically-inspired architectural vocabulary that characterized many of Freeman’s post-Columbian Exposition commissions. Much of the building’s architectural decoration is also symbolic of the structure’s original role as the headquarters of an important gas company, depicting such devices as flaming torches and blazing oil lamps.
*Excerpt from the Landmarks Preservation Commission designation report
STATUS Designated Individual Landmark
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Doreen Gallo: DUMBO Neighborhood Alliance
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Fern Luskin: Lamartine Place Historic District; Friends of Lamartine Place & Gibbons Underground Railroad Site
“HDC provided guidance and shared information during that process—we knew which Council members were going one way or another and we changed a few minds. I don’t think NoHo would have had as cohesive a district had it not been for HDC’s aid.”
Zella Jones: NoHo Historic District; NoHo East; and NoHo Extension
“I remember Richard saying at a meeting, we have someone here from HDC, Nadezhda Williams, Director of Preservation and Research, to help us. She said to us, ‘You are not the only ones going through this.’ HDC included us in an enormous community”
Erika Petersen: West End Preservation Society