Built between 1892 and 1893 as part of what was then thought to be the largest varnish works in the country, the Standard Varnish Works factory office building is an important reminder of the industrial history of Staten Island. Colin McLean, the contractor for the new rail system and one of the most prominent builders on the East Coast, built and perhaps also designed Standard Varnish’s waterfront factory complex which included this office building.
Fronting on Richmond Terrace, the office building reflects nineteenth-century factory design practices in its prominent siting at a corner of the factory works, in the attention given to its architectural detailing, in its two-story form, its use of brick–then the most fire-resistant material available–and in its incorporation of a prominent tower.
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