This imposing residence, constructed around 1876, is a fine and well-preserved example of the freestanding Second Empire style frame houses that once proliferated in the rural areas of New York City but are now increasingly being altered or demolished. Built for oysterman Samuel Pell, it is significant reminder of the enormous wealth that the oyster trade brought to the maritime community of City Island in the nineteenth century. The Second Empire style is unusually well-represented on the island with thirteen surviving houses of which the Pell house is the grandest and best preserved. A five-bay-wide, three-story frame building, the Pell house is sheathed in its original clapboards and retains its historic two-over-two fenestration. It is richly embellished with heavy molded door and window surrounds, bracketed cornices, bay windows, and porches with turned posts and curved wood braces. The unusually well-preserved and elaborately-detailed mansard roof retains its original patterned polychrome slate shingles, pedimented dormers, and decorative metal flashing. Samuel Pell was a descendent of the Pell family that once owned this area of the Bronx. He and his children, who occupied this house until about 1900, were prominent members of the City Island community. In 1907, the house was sold to James Feeley, a partner in a wholesale lace curtain importing firm. In the late 1920s, the house passed to his son Edgar J. Feeley, a prominent attorney and part owner-officer of the New York Giants baseball team, who occupied the house until his death in 1972. It is currently being used as a residence.
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
"HDC has begun a series of projects to highlight the Bronx's architectural and cultural history. From booklet's and research highlighting specific sites and historic districts to the HDC's symposium in October 2018 to the latest community-based committee to look into further possible sites to qualify for landmarking, the HDC has established projects that will serve the Bronx community well."
City Lore, Folklorist
Bronx Music Heritage Center, Co-Artistic Director
"Welcome2TheBronx is grateful for the advocacy done by the Historic Districts Council on behalf of the people of The Bronx. Through their deep connections and understanding of the importance of preserving our local histories, The Bronx has been able to have several spotlights shown on endangered communities as gentrification creeps into the borough."
Ed García Conde,
founder and Executive Director,