The Brousseau Building was designed by Hudson architect Michael O'Connor, whose work includes the Allen Street School, the original Firemen's Home, Midwood, and several residences in the neighborhood of the courthouse. It was built as an apartment house, with six apartments, two on each floor. The building has two entrances, each with two doors: one opens into the first floor apartment; the other accesses the staircase leading to the apartments on the upper two floors.
|Sarah Sterling 2005|
Galloway's first plan for the building was to convert it into two enormous townhouses, with commercial or professional space on the ground floor and living space on the two floors above. When the plan was initially presented to the Historic Preservation Commission, it involved altering the facade to introduce larger storefront windows on the ground floor, adding a balustrade at the roof line that was never part of the original design, and changing the entrances so that each would have only one door. The HPC rejected the windows and the balustrade but accepted the changes proposed for the entrances, which included newly designed porticos and new columns. When asked if Galloway could be required to replicate the original porticos using the original columns, Swope, then chair of the HPC, rejected the idea, saying that the altered doorways required different porticos that would better complement them.
Last week Swope revealed that the current plan for the Brousseau Building is to keep it as six apartments, with two live/work units on the ground floor. He intimated that the Galvan Initiatives Foundation would again seek a certificate of appropriateness to alter the facade by introducing larger storefront windows on the ground floor but made assurances that the porticos would be reinstated. It is not clear if the intention is to design new porticos or to re-create the original porticos using the original columns, but since there is now no need to alter the entrances from two doorways to one, there is no justification for redesigning the porticos.
Back in 1995, Lynn Davis photographed this building as part of her monumentally significant Warren Street Project. Davis has graciously given Gossips permission to reproduce the photograph here to remind everyone what the missing porticos looked like and perhaps to help Swope locate and identify the missing columns in Galloway's storage building.
© Lynn Davis 1995