web analytics

The Watchtower

The Watchtower sign on the Brooklyn waterfront is a site that nearly every New Yorker has seen – it’s visible from many vantage points. And most of us know that this is headquarters for the Jehovah’s Witnesses and their publication, Watchtower Magazine. The term Watchtower is a shortened version of the official name of the corporate entity in use by the religious organization and publishing division: The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. The offices at 25 Columbia Street (where the sign is located) is not only the New York bethel but also world headquarters. The corporate entity is one of the 40 largest companies in NYC, with annual revenues of nearly 1 billion dollars.

New Yorkers have also heard over the years that the religious organization owns much property in Brooklyn Heights – the subject of much controversy and covered in many articles over the years. As it turns out, this is true; they have been in the neighborhood since 1909 and own 18 properties there. They also own 12 properties in nearby Dumbo (click here). In 2004, they started divesting and selling off properties (they are selling 6 of the 18), including the Standish Arms Hotel on Columbia Heights and 360 Furman St., a former Bible-shipping facility (sold for $205 million) and being developed into luxury condos, One Brooklyn Bridge Park. The printing business has been consolidated to their Walkill, New York, facility. Click here for a photo tour through the properties, showing their printing facilities, residences (members live in a number of corporate owned buildings), the laundry building, etc.

The religious beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses are quite a unique departure from mainstream Christianity. Only 144,000 will be chosen for immortal life. The wicked will be destroyed; the rest of mankind will live in earthly paradise during the Millennium…

12 Responses to The Watchtower

  1. Just a theological thought: When the wicked are destroyed, wouldn’t it also be a good time for God to remove ugly buildings like the watchtower that obstructs the divine beauty of the Brooklyn Bridge?

  2. Well, I’ll try to stay neutral on this one, but perhaps a very large sign and billboard removal campaign could improve the landscape:)

  3. Fascinating story, I’d be interested in finding out how so much money is being made, especially if it is other than real estate appreciation — I know JW is now building in other parts the the country, where never used to see them …

  4. I live in Brooklyn and the JWs are always ringing my bell on Sundays. No wonder!

  5. • Eliane • says:

    The first year I was in NYC, I went to explore Brooklyn Heights and got lost in complete JW territory. A bit “surreal”, to remain PC. ;)

  6. Headquarters! Thanks

  7. People may hate them coming to the door, but Brooklyn Heights should thank God for those JW’s! They MADE that place worth something like everything else they touch. Perhaps their God is stronger then yours. Hmm maybe they should inherit the Earth, just imagine the equity. . .perhaps the WT will be the only thing left standing after God destroys the wicked.

    Nice writeup BTW, I admire the tolerant. After all someone has to tolerate you ; )

  8. For the comment about “billboard removal” I was informed once that the Watchtower wanted to remove the sign in order to save costs on electricity from powering it but the city of New York stopped them from doing it because of it’s historical significance to the waterfront landscape. I heard that the city now subsidizes it being there and lighting up at night…

  9. Interesting it was used on I am legend poster! We are enjoying the irony!

  10. tom sheepandgoats says:

    When their buildings were unconnected, they might walk down sidewalks ten-abreast at “shift changes” and sweep passerby aside. So they connected buildings via underground tunnel, but this made them a “secretive cult,” attempting to isolate their folk from the real world.

    It’s a challenge for any neighborhood to bear that much tax-exempt property, even if the tax-exempt organization was responsible for keeping the area respectable during harsher times. So phasing out operations there in favor of more rural settings is probably a win-win.

    I’m told that a ploy for them regarding neighbor relations came with their restoration of one of the hotels they own (was it the Towers?) The top floor is a grand ballroom at which everyone celebrated many years ago when the Brooklyn Dodgers won the pennant. More folks claim to have been at that event than the ballroom could have held. Bethel workers meticulously restored the room to it’s original condition (with old photos and memorabilia?) and invited all in the area to open house. No witnessing of any sort. Just reminiscing. It improved community relations a lot.

  11. When the Jews arrogant stained the city of Jerusalem and killed Christ Jesus on a torture stake the powers of the invisible holy spirit of Jehovah God were transferred to a race of humans who believe collectively known as faithful and discreet slave class who reentered the divine reign on Earth in 1919, all anointed who eat and drink at the Kingdom Hall every year are privileged priestly immortality creatures in heavenstwenty million people of other races live in Paradise Earth for a reign that Millennium will be driven by the WatchTower organization when billions of dead if submit that only organized religion after the har-magedon.
    Brooklyn is not special, just served as ground for the foundation of the House of God in this last century.
    for more information http://www.JW.org visit WatchTower Complex in our country and study the bible daily

  12. Always choose a plumber before the problem does happen.
    For more information on Form 1099-MISC reporting requirements, visit the IRS
    website to get a copy of “Instructions for Form 1099-MISC. Now I believe you have got such confidence that you can choose a Plumber manually.


  • dinamic_sidebar 4 none

©2014 New York Daily Photo Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS)  Raindrops Theme