This Trader Joe's Is A Protected Historic Landmark

Trader Joe's mandarin orange chicken and Unexpected Cheddar have already convinced plenty of people that the grocery chain is a national treasure — but the borough of Brooklyn in New York City has made the designation official: A Trader Joe's location at 130 Court Street in Brooklyn is a designated historical landmark. 

OK, so the landmark status wasn't exactly granted because of how much people love Unexpected Cheddar (although that seems like a pretty good reason). Instead, the building that houses this particular Trader Joe's location is the actual landmark in question. According to an article on the Trader Joe's website, this centuries-old northwest Brooklyn building used to be a bank. It still has the same "beautiful marble, high ceilings, and arched windows" today, as well as "an old vault in the back room." This certainly sounds like a majestic backdrop for perusing the Trader Joe's snack aisles for ghost pepper chips and cookie butter.

The famous figure who once visited this future Trader Joe's

How exactly does a place become a historic landmark? According to the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission, a building can earn landmark status if it "​​has special historical, cultural, or aesthetic value to the City of New York, state or nation [and] is an important part of the City's heritage." Besides the fact that the Trader Joe's in Brooklyn is old and beautiful, it was also a place where former president George Washington once resided during the Battle of Long Island in 1776, per the store's website. The location even has a plaque outside detailing this fact.

While being a historical landmark certainly has its appeal, there are some rules from the Landmarks Preservation Commission that the building's tenants must follow. The organization must approve in advance any alterations, demolitions, or acts of construction on the site. This explains why, based on the photo of the Brooklyn Trader Joe's, the store is not quite as painted and decorated as other locations. Looking at the natural light streaming in from those windows, though, that seems like a small price to pay.