Tuesday, August 04, 2009
The Height of Crown Heights
I spend about an hour of every day running, which allows me to explore a sizeable chunk of the borough at a relatively leisurely pace. Frequently, I'll find places on runs that pique my interest, and I'll venture back at a later date with a camera. Some runners despise the stop-and-go of running city streets, but I'd argue that there's no better way to see them. Sometimes a run will take me over a bridge or to the top of a promontory (Fort Greene Park is a common one for me), and I'll get to scan the borough from above, picking out the landmarks and checking the time of day on the Williamsburgh Bank Tower. It's a fun feeling to stand up high marveling down at the city, and it's one that brings most people around to the same question, whether atop a building or flying overhead: where's my house?
Since I live on the top floor of a three-story brownstone, I know I'm not going to see my building from any far-off lookout point, but I can always find the general location of Franklin Avenue by picking out the building above, 43 Crown Street, the tallest building in Crown Heights. At 33 stories tall, the 321-unit residential tower looms large over the rest of the low-rise neighborhood. A few 10-ish story condo units have gone up recently, and the old Jewish Hospital building is a big one, but only this concrete tower, built in 1973, has the vertical thrust to be seen from all over (I've picked it out on the Staten Island Ferry and from each of Brooklyn's East River bridges). Downtown Brooklyn notwithstanding, it's probably one of the 20 or 30 tallest buildings in the whole borough, but I can't find a list anywhere.