Professors Montgomery and Phillip

Author: Brandon Panton


Before taking this course I thought it was strictly an Architectural course based on the reviews from classmates that took the course before, therefore I was excited to see what new knowledge and skills I would gain. On the first day of class, we were told that our class would be a combination of multiple professors, Prof. Jason Montgomery who I was already familiar with from the Architectural Department and Prof. Susan Phillips from the Hospitality Department. I suddenly became worried because of my experience with having two different professors teaching the same course, what made me more worried was this time both professors were from different departments. I automatically assumed that this class would be difficult.  Well, I was wrong. The material that both professors taught in class as well as how it was taught, taught me so much inside the classroom as well outside the classroom. I’ve lived in this country for eleven years now and did not know the history of my neighborhood nor the history of downtown Brooklyn a place where I spend most of my days; therefore, I must say that this course is one of the best courses I’ve taken at the New York City College of Technology,  I say this not only because of how much I’ve learned but because of how well each professor communicates and help each student with what they were struggling with, this made us as a class felt comfortable not only with each professor but with our classmates as well.


I think our first presentation was really good, I felt like all teams communicated with each other well throughout their research. Each team had good research questions; I’m looking forward to seeing the second part of our group project. As for our group even though we were unprepared I think my partner and I did a great job of presenting what we had. we’ve learned a lot from each presentation that will improve ours. I really enjoyed Diane and Shelly’s presentation I think they did a very good job presenting the information they found and also a great job showing it graphically using the sources that were provided.

Brandon Panton: MetroTech Reflection 2

Our second visit to MetroTech was just as exciting as our first but we looked at MetroTech from an Architectural standpoint by analyzing buildings that were built in the 1900s and those that are being built today. The first building we looked at was the Offerman building which is now used for retail space and apartment complex. We also examined the well-detailed exterior and noticed the floral detailing in the stone cornices, Corinthian order columns that supports stone lintels running horizontally, bricks used in the common bond style followed by double-hung and clerestory windows. The second building we looked at was the MetroTech Center. This building is owned by JP Morgan Chase and before this building was built the lot had smaller lots with three to four-story buildings now there is a heavy masonry building that covers the entire lot, with an extension connected by a bridge that uses the ground floor for a public plaza. It is strictly a commercial building that doesn’t have much retail space on the lot we examined, it seems to only have a barbershop on the ground floor. The rest of the building is used for office space. The exterior is made from brick that is placed in the common bond style with soldier brick around the lower window bays. On the ground floor, there are large marble tiles that range from the first to the second floor. So far I think our exploration through the MetroTech area has been fun and also a wonderful learning experience that will definitely help us with our group research.

Berk and Brandon MetroTech Reflection

Our assignment was to explore the MetroTech District of Brooklyn and do a comparison between 1924 and 2019 to show how the area has transformed over time and how it influenced the existing changes occurring today in Downtown Brooklyn. MetroTech lies between Jay Street and Flatbush Avenue, north of the Fulton Street Mall and south of Tillary Street. Before we started exploring, Professor Montgomery provided us with two maps of the MetroTech District showing both the past and the present from 1924 to 2019. The fact that we were able to have both maps side by side made it very easy to see how the area has changed over time. During our tour around Metrotech District, we have noticed that how gentrification reshaped the whole composition of the neighborhood. Some interesting things that we have discovered was zoning changes that brought high rise buildings, government buildings, communal spaces, green streets, and natural circulation paths that was made by pedestrians and a revamped infrastructure that connected Downtown Brooklyn to major highways and bridges. Throughout our trip, we walked on Myrtle Ave to see how it has changed today and discussed how the development of MetroTech have influenced the development of Flatbush Ave. Overall the changes seem good, the development of this area is an ongoing process and far from being complete.

Brandon Panton Neighborhood Reflection

Before our neighborhood analysis, I’ve never taken the time out to analyze or pay attention to what’s going on in my neighborhood. After carefully analyzing my neighborhood I suddenly realized that there is a lot of history in my neighborhood. Port Richmond is one of the oldest districts on Staten Island, there are local businesses that have been passed down from generation to generation, there are also a few landmark buildings that are currently going through restoration. I’ve also noticed the zoning hasn’t changed much either. I think the reason why most of these local businesses have been able to do so well is because of the relationship between local business owners and consumers in my neighborhood. I’ve witnessed conversations between owners and consumers last for five to seven mins from asking about their wife and kids or asking about their parents and grandparents. From our  previous lectures, we spoke about gentrification, how it changes a neighborhood and the impact it has on a neighborhood, because my neighborhood is a preserved neighborhood if the zoning was supposed to be changed and investors were able to build higher and bigger without the consideration of locally owned businesses, I think I would lose a very important part of my neighborhood, it would not be the same.