Actions taken as part of initiative to address backlog of calendared items; commission intends to dispose of backlog in 2016. On June 28, 2016, the Landmarks Preservation Commission took final dispositive action on four properties in Staten Island, designating them as individual City landmarks. The actions are part of the commission’s initiative to eliminate the backlog of items added to its calendar before 2012 but never brought to a vote.
The George William and Anna Curtis House located at 234 Bard Avenue in the Randall Manor neighborhood, dates to 1859. The prominent Italianate-style house is notable not only for its architecture, but as home to abolitionist and magazine editor George W. Curtis. The home was once part of an enclave of homes where noted abolitionists resided in the years leading up to the Civil War. Landmarks Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan said she was pleased that some of the 18th and 19th century residential buildings of Staten Island were being brought forward for designation. Commissioner Adi Shamir-Baron commented on Curtis’s relationship to Frederick Law Olmstead.
The Greek revival 92 Harrison Street House, in Staten Island’s Stapleton section, is thought to date to the 1830s, and features a porch, white clapboard cladding, and wide frieze topped with a triangular gable supported by pilasters. Chair Srinivasan called the house “beautifully detailed” said it “anchors the street.”
St. John’s Protestant Episcopal Church Rectory, at 1331 Bay Street, was built in 1882 in the Queen Anne style. The church that the rectory serves was designated an individual City landmark in 1974. Commissioner Fred Bland remarked that the building was remarkably intact, and that he was glad to see a church supportive of designation of its property. Srinivasan called the rectory “picturesque” and charming,” said it complements the landmarked church while being an arresting building in its own right.
The Princes Bay Lighthouse complex, on the southern end of Staten Island, consists of a limestone-clad lighthouse, keeper’s house, and a rusticated stone barn, dating to the 19th century. An important navigational beacon for Raritan Bay, the lighthouse was deactivated in 1922. It is one of the few remaining lighthouse complexes in the City. The property is now owned by the State Department of Environmental Conservation, along with 145 acres of parkland. Landmarks staff recommended limiting the designation lot footprint of the historic buildings, rather than entire parcel.
Commissioner Fred Bland questioned the decision not to designate the entire parcel, including the parkland, finding that the openness of the site was important to its perception.
On each of the items, Commissioners voted unanimously to designate.
LPC: George William and Anna Curtis House, 234 Bard Avenue, Staten Island (LP-2507); 92 Harrison Street House, 92 Harrison Street, Staten Island (LP-1218); St. John’s Protestant Episcopal Church Rectory, 1331 Bay Street, Staten Island (LP-0375); Prince’s Bay Lighthouse Complex, Hylan Boulevard, Staten Island (LP-0392) (June 28, 2016).
By: Jesse Denno (Jesse is a full-time staff writer at the Center for NYC Law)