Designated February 10, 1987
The 614 Courtland Avenue Building, an early multi-use building in the Bronx, was built in 1871-72 for Julius Ruppert and contained a saloon, public rooms, meeting rooms, and a residential apartment. Most likely the work of a builder-contractor, the imposing building displays a variety of early to late Second Empire style motifs successfully combined to reconcile the several uses contained within the building with their exterior expression. Hewlett S. Baker’s renovation in 1882 only further enriched the facade.
The building is a monument to the first stage of urbanization within what had been the previously rural south Bronx, helping by its presence to establish a sense of place in the new village of Melrose South. The building also has many of the stylistic features which characterized those along the Bowery in the area known as “Kleine Deutschland,” where Julius Ruppert first established his business before following his fellow Germans to The Bronx. With its varied uses, the building sheltered a variety of German ethnic activities.
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