2. It was Designed by the “Father of Tall Buildings”

Brooklyn Is exhibit
Photo by Gregg Richards

The Center for Brooklyn History’s beautiful Queen Anne-style building was designed by architect George B. Post, a man who has been called the “father of the tall building in New York.” His innovative designs, which made use of iron and steel infrastructure, allowed buildings in cities to reach new heights. In New York City, Post was responsible for such tide-changing buildings as the eight-story Equitable Life Assurance Society building which was the first office building designed to use elevators, the Western Union Telegraph Building which was the first office building to rise to ten stories, and the soaring twenty-story New York World Building which was the tallest in New York City at the time.

Pillar in the basement of the Center for Brooklyn History

Post’s innovative techniques and the advancing technology of the time are evident in the Pierrepont Street building. New cast iron and steel support beams allowed for wide open spaces, large windows, and high ceilings that stone masonry wouldn’t have been able to accommodate. In the basement of the building, you can see the exposed foundation of the slim cast iron columns, which are set upon layers of concrete and brick. These columns extend into the Great Hall. Sadly, most of George Post’s buildings in New York City have been demolished so the Center for Brooklyn History is an important landmark.