This small rowhouse is a significant remaining example of the wooden vernacular buildings once constructed throughout Manhattan. The 314 East 53rct Street house was one of the last wood-frame buildings constructed in the neighborhood and is a rare extant example of a wooden building above 23rd Street. Later in 1866, New York City fire laws prohibited the construction of wood-frame buildings in this neighborhood and many existing wooden buildings were subsequently demolished and replaced by masonry structures.
Covered in clapboards, the building is two bays wide and two stories high above a brick basement. The mansard roof, dormers, bracketed wooden cornice and door hood, and molded window enframements on double-hung sash windows distinguish this house as a rare vernacular wooden building with Second Empire and Italianate details.
STATUS Designated Individual Landmark
“I don’t know what the City would be without HDC. [They] testified before LPC time after time and helped us focus on the right issues. We would not be an historic district without HDC! ”
Doreen Gallo: DUMBO Neighborhood Alliance
“Use HDC as a resource because they know what they are doing and can offer advice on how to go about creating a district from every front: architectural, political, LPC, and the media. I had floundered prior to my involvement with this invaluable organization.”
Fern Luskin: Lamartine Place Historic District; Friends of Lamartine Place & Gibbons Underground Railroad Site
“HDC provided guidance and shared information during that process—we knew which Council members were going one way or another and we changed a few minds. I don’t think NoHo would have had as cohesive a district had it not been for HDC’s aid.”
Zella Jones: NoHo Historic District; NoHo East; and NoHo Extension
“I remember Richard saying at a meeting, we have someone here from HDC, Nadezhda Williams, Director of Preservation and Research, to help us. She said to us, ‘You are not the only ones going through this.’ HDC included us in an enormous community”
Erika Petersen: West End Preservation Society