Skip to Content
Correct Opinions

Brooklyn’s Tallest Tower Radiates Pure Evil (And I Love It)

Sure, it's a totem of demonic spirits and Capital incarnate, but what's not to like?

I only obey the tower now. (Hell Gate)

There's a certain kind of New Yorker who disdains every little (or big) new thing here, as if change is somehow an affront to them personally—they were not consulted at the citywide plebiscite, they did not give the go-ahead to the designs in a drafting room, they did not give anyone permission to change "their" New York. It's quite easy to wave your hands at something and go, "That's bullshit, fuck that," because in fact, the city is filled with an immense amount of bullshit. There's the entirety of Hudson Yards and its cursed "Vessel," and there's the unfinished Atlantic Yards with its equally cursed Barclays Center. And who can forget the supertalls now lining up along Central Park that act strictly as a place to park money, one of which will soon block out views of the Empire State Building.

But not all bullshit is created equally. 

Take the nearly completed Brooklyn Tower in Downtown Brooklyn, which has been a general preoccupation of New Yorkers over the last few months. The massive 74-story condo and rental tower is, according to prevailing wisdom and sentiment, very clearly evil, a totem of demonic spirits and Capital incarnate, a spot-on recreation of Barad-dûr, the Tower of Darkness from the Lord of the Rings, where the eye of Sauron is cast upon a land he's marked for exploitation and destruction. Jet black where most new construction in the city is dominated by airy windows, the building is clearly a statement of intentions—that from atop this perch, those powerful enough to live here will watch a city be reshaped from up on high. The flood will come, the fire next time, but the Tower will remain. 

To which I now say: Yes, hell yes! 

Walking around downtown Brooklyn at night last week (as ever, abandoned and devoid of people and hope), I saw the Tower cast its spotlight into the foggy night, a beacon to another realm, a message sent to a higher, darker power. Scattered apartments had their lights on, as people (Orcs? Europeans?) had begun to move in earlier this year. The building, obscure against the ambient city light, looked like a monolith, resonating at a frequency that would surely at some point turn piercing, unmistakable, unstoppable. The message: Obey me. OK! The building exterior's metallic and gold accents are also quite cool, very 1980s casino aesthetic, thumbs up. 

There's a lot of bullshit in NYC, but I can now appreciate, with zero architectural qualifications, and just based on vibes, that this building is a sort of bullshit I can get behind. The nondescript gray and glass boxes that now dot our skyline, the vacuous malls and food courts that stand in for "economic development" but are instead just air-dropped from the suburbs and are completely unrelated to New York City—those are true bullshit and they are awful.

This tower, which so perfectly captures a message of "behold what's not for you" and also "I am your destroyer," is not playing any games. It's not inviting you in. It's not even asking you to take a selfie with it. It is of its time and place, terrible and cool, and godspeed to the few lucky tenants who are able to navigate NYC's arcane affordable housing lottery and get an apartment here. If you do snag one, let me know—I would like to come visit and experience…the power.

Already a user?Log in

Thanks for reading!

Give us your email address to keep reading two more articles for free

See all subscription options

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Hell Gate

See all posts