Jacob Dangler House Calendared for Individual Landmark Consideration

The Jacob Dangler House. Image Credit: LPC.

A late addition to Landmarks’ agenda, the Commission unanimously voted in favor of calendaring the Brooklyn mansion. On June 7, 2022, the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to calendar the Jacob Dangler House, located at 441 Willoughby Avenue in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn for designation.

This sprawling brick mansion was built in the French Gothic style by architect Theobald Engelhardt and completed circa 1902. The former home of prominent merchant Jacob Dangler, the property is also culturally significant for serving as the home of the United Grand Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star, a masonic chapter made up almost exclusively of Black women. While a one-story extension was added at the rear of the house and there are minor alterations to the entrance porch, these changes do not take away from the overall integrity of the design.

Standing out on the corner of Willoughby and Nostrand Avenues for its impressive size and turn of the century architecture, the Jacob Dangler House was first identified as a building of interest for Landmarks in a 1992 survey of the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood. It was then prioritized as a possible individual landmark in a recent neighborhood survey. In January 2022, Landmarks responded to a request to survey the building and noted that it merits consideration as an Individual Landmark.

After an inquiry by Landmarks’ Research Department and more requests from members of the community, the issue of calendaring the Jacob Dangler House was brought before the full commission. Based on both its cultural and historical significance and its architectural style, the Research Department recommended that the building be calendared.

The day of the full vote, the Research Department learned that the neighborhood’s City Councilmember Chi Ossé would also support landmarking the house. However, the home’s owner has been actively seeking a demolition permit from the Department of Buildings (DOB). “Given those two factors,” Landmarks Chair Sarah Carroll stated, “and the concern that a DOB permit may be imminent, I would like to recommend that we vote to calendar this item to allow us more time to consider the significance and continue to work with the property owners to understand the issues around the site and the DOB process.” There was no further information provided about the permit.

Following a presentation from Landmarks Executive Director Lisa Kersavage, Chair Carroll moved to calendar the Jacob Dangler House for consideration as an Individual Landmark. Carroll’s motion was then seconded by Commissioner Michael Devonshire, and the property was officially calendared by the Commission in a unanimous vote.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission will hold a public hearing for this designation on July 12th.

By: Cassidy Strong (Cassidy is a CityLaw intern and a New York Law School student, Class of 2024.)

LPC: Jacob Dangler House, 441 Willoughby Ave., Brooklyn (LP- 2261) (June 7, 2022). 


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