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End is nigh for Watchtower sign

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The iconic Watchtower sign, a glowing fixture over Brooklyn Heights, will soon disappear from the skyline.


Earlier this month, the Jehovah’s Witnesses filed a permit application seeking to remove the 15-foot-tall letters from the roof of the organization’s now-former headquarters. The request comes nearly a year after developers Kushner Companies, CIM Group and LIVWRK Holdings purchased the building at 25-30 Columbia Heights for $340 million.


The sign has hovered over Brooklyn Heights for nearly 50 years. The religious organization purchased the building in 1969 from pharmaceutical giant E.R. Squibb & Sons. At the time, Squibb had its own sign on the roof.


The departure of what many have described as a Brooklyn landmark is not necessarily a surprise. When the new owners unveiled plans in May to convert the building into a 635,000-square-foot office complex — dubbed “Panorama” — renderings show some sort of sign but not the iconic letters. At the time, the Brooklyn Eagle speculated that one of the building’s new tenants would secure the rights to put their own sign in the old one’s place.



Edited by JW-Ind
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 Visited New York this week for work made a point to look for the watchtower sign

wonder if that's the last time I'll see it

Been looking at it for over 40 years sad to see it go

I know it's only a sign but it was a silent witness

millions upon millions of people reminded about Jehovah

When they saw the sign for the watchtower and the words Read God's Word the Bible daily


now it's just another building when you cross the bridge

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We went to a hotel on Pearl St NY and it was at the end of Brooklyn Bridge. We discovered it was right next-door to a Kingdom Hall - just off Chinatown, so covered Chinese and Spanish speaking congregations. Then we went into the Hotel and registered and followed the porter with our cases to the room. He crossed the room and opened the curtains and there was the building with the sign right across the water from us. Very comforting having that glowing through the window all day and night along with the time and temperature. Here's the view from the window:




The brothers and sisters in the Kingdom Hall next-door to the Hotel were very welcoming when we popped in on their pre-ministry meeting. They were the Chinese congregation getting ready to go out round Manhattan's Chinatown.

Edited by retroHelen

wrote pooped instead of popped on first attempt. LOL!!!
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See the clock on the sign?  I have a story.


This is (at least) the second Watchtower sign.  There was a previous one that also had a digital date and time display.  Years ago the city of NY passed an ordinance regulating neon signs which necessitated the removal of the beloved Watchtower sign since it no longer complied with the regulation.  Many of the nearby neighbors immediately called the Branch to complain.  As it turns out, they were used to the sign being there and actually used it regularly for the date and time as they went about their daily activities.  The Branch kindly directed the upset neighbors to call the local zoning board.  The zoning board passed an exemption for our brothers and they were able to put up an even larger Watchtower sign that still displayed the date and time.

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1 hour ago, Shawnster said:

The zoning board passed an exemption for our brothers and they were able to put up an even larger Watchtower sign that still displayed the date and time.

That's amazing. Thanks for the anecdote.

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