Earlier this week, I noticed that the front porch was being propped up and one of the columns that supported the porch roof had been removed.
Then yesterday, I was tipped off by a reader that the entire porch was gone.
Concerned, I called Craig Haigh, our code enforcement officer, to ask why this project had not gone before the Historic Preservation Commission for a certificate of appropriateness. Haigh told me he had questioned the project and was told they were simply replacing everything exactly as it was--like for like. He had issued a stop-work order until they provided him with plans that demonstrated, to his satisfaction, that everything new would be exactly like what had been there. Because he was satisfied they were doing nothing different, he considered the project to be a straightforward repair, which did not require a certificate of appropriateness.
It's too bad the project didn't go before the HPC. They would have asked to see historic pictures of the house, which are readily available. They would have seen that the porch once had a carved railing on top, which made the porch roof a balcony, and they might have been able to prevail on the applicant to restore the railing.
|Photo courtesy Historic Hudson|
|Photo: Byrne Fone|
The railing was still there in the early 2000s. The second picture above, taken by Byrne Fone, shows the house in 2003 or 2004. According to a Gossips source, when the railing was removed, it was stored in the basement of the house so that if a future owner wanted to repair it or replicate it, they would have the original. We can only wonder what's become of it.
COPYRIGHT 2018 CAROLE OSTERINK