The Gustave A. Mayer House, an Italianate villa, was among the first rural residences in that style built on Staten Island and is a rare survivor of its type and period within the city limits. In sympathy with the theories of the Picturesque espoused by Alexander Jackson Davis and his collaborator Andrew Jackson Downing, the house is placed to take best advantage of its sloping site.
The Mayer House was originally built for David R. Ryers between 1855 and 1856. This symmetrically arranged, two-and-a-half-story frame structure is characterized by a full-width porch, consistently fine detailing, and elegant belvedere. In the 1890s confectioner and inventor Gustave Mayer made the villa both his home and place of business, there manufacturing innovative items such as fancy sugar wafers, decorative metal objects, and other products.
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