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The Arts Building of St. Francis College is one of several buildings in the downtown Brooklyn and Brooklyn Heights area designed and built by the well-known Brooklyn architect Frank Freeman. Constructed as the new headquarters for the Brooklyn Union Gas Company in 1914, the building retains its original classical facade, which reflected the organizational solidity and dignity Gas Company. It continues to serve in a similar capacity as the administrative hub for St. Francis College.
The conversion of this building into an academic facility represented an important event in the history of the Franciscan Brothers in the educational life of Brooklyn. The move to 180 Remsen Street represented a renewal of the Brothers' commitment to serving the academic needs of the local urban population at a time in the 1960's when many other urban educational institutions were either closing their doors or joining the flight to the suburbs.
The building itself is well maintained and although modernized in several respects, still retains almost all of the external architectural details envisioned by its designer.
White, Norval, and Elliot Willensky, eds. AIA Guide to New York City. Rev. ed. New York: MacMillan, 1978.