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WALLABOUT HOMEOWNER’S PRESERVATION MANUAL


Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project LDC

M YRT LE AVEN U E REVITALIZAT ION PROJ EC T LDC BOARD

4 72 My rt le Av e n u e , 2 n d F l oor B roo kly n, N Y 1 1 2 0 5 t: (718) 23 0 - 1 6 8 9 i nfo @m y rt l e a v e n u e . o rg www.myrtleavenue.org

C hai r: Dr. T ho mas F. Schutte, Pratt Insti tute M i chael Banach, St. J o seph’s C o l l eg e Luan C o x , Go o dw o rl d C reati o ns LLC P. Ann Dani el s, Wi l l o ug hby Wal k C o -o ps J o hn Dew, C l i nto n H i l l C o -o ps Seth Edw ards, J PM o rg an C hase Dr. Geo rg i anna Gl o se, F o rt Greene SN AP Ber nel l Gri er, N ei g hbo rho o d H o usi ng Servi ces o f N YC Gary H attem, Deutsche Bank Ameri cas F o undati o n Stuart Leffl er, C o nEdi so n M i k e M assi ah,Po rt Autho ri ty o f N Y & N J K. Al etha M aybank , N YC Dept. o f H eal th & M ental H yg i ene Bri an Ro bi nso n, Gnarl y Vi nes J o se Ramo n Sanchez, Lo ng Isl and U ni versi ty Sudha Seetharaman, Tri l o k F usi o n Arts Lawrence Whi tesi de, Bro o k l yn C o mmuni ty Bo ard 2

Historic Wallabout Association

M YRT LE AVEN U E REVITALIZAT ION PROJ EC T STAF F

BKSK Architects LLP 2 8 We s t 25 t h S t re e t N ew York, N Y 1 1 2 1 5 t. (212) 807 - 9 6 0 0 bk s kinfo @b k s k a rc h . c o m www.bkskarch.com

M i chael Bl ai se Back er - Ex ecuti ve Di recto r M eredi th Phi l l i ps Al mei da - Di recto r o f C o mmuni ty Devel o pment C had Purk ey - Pro g ram M anag er, Preservati o n Ini ti ati ves Kassy N ystro m - Pro g ram M anag er, F o o d Access Ini ti ati ves Dan Sco rse - Pro g ram M anag er, Pl anni ng & Streetscape Ini ti ati ves J enni fer Sto k es - Pro g ram M anag er, Busi ness Assi stance

D I S C LA I M E R Thi s m a nua l i s i nt e nd e d t o offe r gui d a nc e t o ow ne r s of hi s t or i c hom e s i n Wa l l a b o u t . I t d o e s not s p e a k for ot he r orga ni z a t i ons , i nc l ud i ng t he N e w Yor k C i t y La nd m a r k s P re s e rv a t i o n C om m i s s i on, N e w Yor k S t a t e H i s t or i c P re s e r v a t i on O ffi c e , t he N a t i ona l P a r k Se rv i c e , a n d t h e N e w Yor k La nd m a r k s C ons e r v a nc y.

PU BLISH ED SEPT EM BER 2012 W A L L A B O U T H O M E O W N E R ’ S P R E S E R VAT I O N M A N U A L


The Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project LDC (MARP) and the Historic Wallabout Association would like to acknowledge the work of BKSK Architects LLP, specifically Marissa Marvelli and Jennifer Preston, in undertaking this project. Also, a special thank you goes to Gary Hattem, Frazier Holloway, and Gil Winters who volunteered to open up their homes and allowed them to be used as case studies for the manual, as well as to Richard Perry, a home inspector, who graciously lent his professional expertise. Lastly, sincere gratitude is given to Andrew Dolkart for his tremendous efforts in documenting the history of Wallabout in his Wallabout Cultural Resource Survey and the nomination reports for the Wallabout and Industrial Wallabout Historic Districts, making their listings on the State and National Registers of Historic Places possible. The project was funded in part by the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Elizabeth and Robert Jeffe Preservation Fund for New York City. Additional financial support was provided by the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation and the Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project LDC.

Ac k n ow l e d g e m e n t s

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W A L L A B O U T H O M E O W N E R ’ S P R E S E R VAT I O N M A N U A L


FOREWARD Dear Neighbor, Winning Historic Landmark designation for Wallabout is an important milestone in our community’s long and vibrant history. National, New York State and New York City authorities have all validated the significance of our distinctive architecture as warranting recognition and protection. Wallabout property owners share a special responsibility to preserve their homes and to appropriately upgrade them consistent with proven standards. This manual is intended as a helpful guide to facilitate the restoration and maintenance of our unique buildings and to advise owners on the financial incentives available to help make this work possible. It is exciting to ponder that these new historic designations, combined with a concerted effort of owners to preserve and restore, will enable many future generations to walk our streets with a sense of history and beauty that we enjoy today and that our ancestors created 200 years ago. Sincerely, Gary Hattem Co-Chair, Historic Wallabout Association

Forward

Michael Blaise Backer Co-Chair, Historic Wallabout Association

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S TAT E / N AT I O N A L H I S T O R I C D I S T R I C T LOCAL HISTORIC DISTRICT

PA R K 69 73

AV E N

74 70

UE

67 100

83

123

455

421

387

AV E N U E

W A L L A B O U T H O M E O W N E R ’ S P R E S E R VAT I O N M A N U A L

STREET

LE

RYERSON

MYRT

STREET

143

AV E N U E

154

131

145

116 153

118-128 132

HALL

WASHINGTON

AV E N U E

AV E N U E

123

W A V E R LY

CLINTON

AV E N U E

AV E N U E

V A N D E R B I LT

CLERMONT

ADELPHI STREET

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A NEIGHBORHOOD GUIDE AN INTRODUCTION TO THE MANUAL

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stroll through Wallabout today presents a rare glimpse of vernacular Brooklyn in the mid-nineteenth century, with its impressively intact collection of humble wood frame cottages and masonry rowhouses built for the borough’s then burgeoning middle-class population. On the whole, the neighborhood has retained a remarkable degree of authenticity in terms of context, scale, style, and physical fabric. Three governmental agencies, in acknowledgement of this fact, have moved to declare portions of Wallabout as historically significant and worthy of preservation. As of 2012, Wallabout has two historic districts—a single-block district designated by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission and a larger fiveblock district listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places. The boundaries of Wallabout are loosely defined as being Flushing Avenue on the north, Myrtle Avenue on the south, Classon Avenue on the east, and Carlton Avenue on the west. The blocks between Flushing and Park avenues are primarily industrial and are not discussed in depth here. (However, these blocks have been listed as a separate state historic district.) The purpose of this manual is to call attention to the unique qualities of Wallabout and encourage stewardship of its built fabric. It is also intended to provide guidance to homeowners for caring for properties in a historic district and outline incentives for doing so. There are misconceptions about historic districts—the most prevalent being that a property owner is required to restore their home to its original or historic appearance. This is not so. For owners of properties not within a historic district, this manual is for you too. Executing sensitive maintenance and rehabilitation projects not only increases a property’s value but also its prospect of future inclusion in a district and the benefits that come along with it. The reader will find threaded through this manual a subtext about sustainability. This is intentional. Historic preservation—retaining what already exists—is a sustainable act. Preservation expert Jo Ramsay Leimenstoll succinctly puts it: “Historic preservation and sustainability are inextricably linked through their shared values of good stewardship, the revitalization of neighborhoods, and the ongoing use of the built environment. Both advocate a culture of reuse, community reinvestment, and appreciation of our heritage. The guiding principles of preservation resonate with the three fundamental principles of sustainability: economic strength, environmental stewardship, and social equity. Together they speak to the wise use of resources to sustain our communities.” This manual encourages the homeowner to make a strong effort to retain and restore existing building elements before replacing them with something new, and to think holistically when planning for repairs and alterations.

INTRODUCTION

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W A L L A B O U T H O M E O W N E R ’ S P R E S E R VAT I O N M A N U A L


WHAT IS SIGNIFICANT ABOUT THIS PLACE?

12 16

Through the Years: A Brief History of Wallabout In Style: The Architecture of Wallabout

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE IN A HISTORIC DISTRICT?

28 30 32 34 38

State & National Historic Districts: Understanding the Register of Historic Places Standards for Rehabilitation: The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards New York City Historic District: Owning Within a Local Historic District Alterations to Landmarks: Working with the Landmarks Preservation Commission Out of Bounds: A Note for Owners Outside the District

ARE FINANCIAL INCENTIVES AVAILABLE ?

42 46 48 50 52

Historic Preservation Tax Credits: Incentives in the State/National District Low Interest Loans: Landmarks Conservancy Historic Properties Fund Historic Preservation Easement: Landmarks Conservancy Easement Program Preservation Grant: Landmarks Preservation Commission Grant Program Energy Efficiency: New York State Energy Research & Development Authority

HOW DO I CARE FOR MY HISTORIC HOME ?

58 62 66 68 70 72 74 78 80 82

Investigate & Plan: Home Inspections, Energy Audits and Maintenance Plans Aligned Values: Historic Preservation and Sustainability The Cellar The Structure The Roof Wood Siding Masonry Walls The Doorway The Window Bluestone Sidewalks

RESEARCH TIPS

84

WHO DO I CALL?

86

Table F o r w aof r d C ontents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

W HAT’S I N S I D E ?


WHAT IS CHAPTER

SIGNIFICANT ABOUT THIS PLACE?

W A L L A B O U T H O M E O W N E R ’ S P R E S E R VAT I O N M A N U A L

HISTORY COMMUNITY ARCHITECTURE


1766 m a p d e p i c t i n g Wal l abo u t Bay an d th e l an d s u rround ing it. “P lan o f t h e C i t y o f N e w Yo rk” m ap by Ber n ard Ratzer.

W

Ae ria l vie w of the Na vy Ya rd a nd Wa lla b out in 1855. Drawn by J ohn B or net . Courte sy of the Brooklyn Historic a l Soc ie ty.

hen crossing north on Myrtle Avenue out of the more traversed neighborhoods of Clinton Hill and Fort Greene, a distinct shift in the scale and texture of the blocks is felt as one enters Wallabout. Stretching across seven blocks just south of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the neighborhood of Wallabout contains an impressively intact collection of mid-nineteenth century wood frame cottages—the largest in New York City, in fact—remarkable

survivors that reflect Brooklyn’s humbler vernacular mode prior to the Civil War. The collection also includes late nineteenth and early twentieth century masonry rowhouses and apartment buildings, mostly constructed for working class and middle class households.

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W hat is significant about this place ?

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1630 WALLABOUT SETTLED BY WALLOONS

1625 FORT AMSTERDAM CHARTERED

1609 HENRY HUDSON SAILS NEW YORK BAY

THROUGH THE YEARS

1664 d e p ic tion of Ne w Amsterdam f rom t he shore s of Brooklyn. Courte sy of Geheugen va n Ne d e rla nd Arc hive s.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF WALLABOUT

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allabout takes its name from the nearby bay along which the Brooklyn Navy Yard is situated. The area’s earliest European settlers were French-speaking Protestants, known as Walloons, from what is now Belgium. They named the bay Waal-bogt and established a quiet farming community there beginning in the second quarter of the seventeenth century. Early families included Rapalje, Bergen, Montfort, Alberti, Ryerse (Ryerson), and Vanderbilt. During the Revolutionary War, the Vanderbilts’s future son-in-law, John Meserole, was among the American soldiers held captive on one of the ghastly British prison ships anchored in the bay. (The over-crowded and squalid conditions of these ships were responsible for the deaths of at least 11,000 prisoners.)

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The years immediately following the war brought the development of the Navy Yard, which was initially established as a small private shipyard sold in 1801 to the US government for building its own navy ships. Its presence, combined with the establishment of a ferry line that directly connected the area to Manhattan in 1805 and the construction of a bridge and road that shortened land travel between north and south Brooklyn, helped spur development in the area and increase property values. By the 1830s, with the population of Brooklyn having more than doubled, the farmland of Wallabout became the focus of intense real estate speculation as demand for houses grew. Property owners sectioned off their farms for auction to developers, who in turn sectioned the property into smaller tracts on which they erected houses. The earliest


houses in the area were free-standing villas, one of which, the temple-fronted Lefferts-Laidlaw House, still remains at 136 Clinton Avenue. The Financial Panic of 1837 and the resulting depression halted development in the city until the early 1840s. The opening of Flushing Avenue, which replaced the Wallabout Turnpike, spurred more development in the northern part of the area. By 1860, a large portion of Wallabout was developed with modest single-family wood frame cottages interspersed with brick or stone-fronted homes, many of which were inhabited by firmly middle class families. In the decades following the 1861-1865 Civil War, additional houses were erected in Wallabout, including a number of brownstone-fronted rows. Prominent during this era were

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W H AT I S S I G N I F I C A N T A B O U T T H I S P L A C E ?

The Le ffe rts- Lai dl aw H ous e (I nd ivid ua l NYC Landmark ), first c onstruc ted i n 1836, i s a ra re te mp le - front ed Greek Re viva l villa . Ph ot o by E mi l i o Gue rra .

1837 F INANCIAL PANIC OCCURS

1836 L EFFERTS-LAIDLAW HOUSE

1830 R EAL ESTATE SPECULATION IN WALLABOUT EXPANDS

1805 C  ONSTRUCTION OF THE WALLABOUT BRIDGE AND ROAD

1801 U S GOVERNMENT PURCHASES THE NAVY YARD

1776 BRITISH PRISON SHIPS MOORED IN WALLABOUT BAY

1775 REVOLUTIONARY WAR BEGINS

T h e HM S New Jers ey, a Bri ti s h P ri s o n Ship m o o red i n Wal l abo u t Bay. Co u rtes y o f the Ne w Yo r k Pu bl i c L i brary.

tenements designed to house multiple families. Most of these date from the 1880s through the early twentieth century, in part as housing for the increasingly industrialized blocks to the north. Charles Pratt, the founder of the Astral Oil Company, got his start in business with speculative development throughout Brooklyn. The five narrow neo-Grec rowhouses at 80-86 Vanderbilt Avenue, designed by the architect Ebenezer Roberts and constructed in 1878, are the earliest known buildings commissioned by Pratt. The frame cottages, masonry rowhouses, and masonry tenements attracted a varied population. Most residents were American-born, but there was also a significant Irish community, as well as immigrants from elsewhere in Europe. During this period Myrtle Avenue developed as a mixed-use commercial thoroughfare to serve the needs of local residents.

13


The late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries also brought the expansion of industry in Wallabout. New factory and warehousing enterprises constructed facilities on the blocks north of Park Avenue to support the then bustling Navy Yard. This growth was part of a larger trend occurring in Brooklyn, which saw its borough’s number of industrial concerns grow from 1,032 in 1860 to 10,623 firms in 1890 employing more than 93,000 workers. By the early twentieth century, Brooklyn was the fourth largest manufacturing center in the entire country, with much industry clustered in neighborhoods along the East River waterfront, including DUMBO, Wallabout, Williamsburg, and Greenpoint. This industrial growth triggered a change in the social fabric of Wallabout as many of its established residents moved on and a firmly working class population took

W A L L A B O U T H O M E O W N E R ’ S P R E S E R VAT I O N M A N U A L

1914 W  ORLD WAR I BEGINS, SPURRING MANUFACTURING GROWTH IN AREA

1888 M  YRTLE AVE ELEVATED RAIL BUILT

1887 PRATT INSTITUTE OPENS

1877 79 VANDERBILT AVE, AN EARLY TENEMENT BUILDING IN WALLABOUT, IS CONSTRUCTED

1861 CIVIL WAR BEGINS

1840 OPENING OF FLUSHING AVE TURNPIKE SPURS DEVELOPMENT

William Perris Map showing Wallabout’s new wood frame houses (represented with yellow shading), 1855.

root. Many Wallabout residents were employed in shipbuilding at the Navy Yard or at associated enterprises. Census records from that period list such resident occupations as skilled tradesman, office or factory worker, dressmaker, salesman, and bartender, though some businessmen and professionals continued to reside in the area. By the 1930s, the ethnic makeup of the community was predominantly Irish and Italian with a mix of Germans, Scandinavians, and Greeks. These communities and the Brooklyn Navy Yard prospered during both World Wars, producing ships, training merchant marines, and testing chemical, electrical and radio technologies. The Navy Yard reached its peak during World War II when it was considered


to be the largest shipyard in the world and employed over 75,000 workers. Wallabout residents benefited financially from its proximity to this major employer. However this prosperity could not be sustained as advancements in shipbuilding made the Navy Yard obsolete. Modern ships had grown too large to pass under the Brooklyn Bridge. The Johnson administration closed the Navy Yard in 1966, coinciding with the closure of many local factories. Wallabout’s physical conditions deteriorated during this period as the substantial exodus of city dwellers to the suburbs triggered the construction of the six-lane Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, shaving off the ends of the blocks facing Park Avenue. The elimination of the Myrtle Avenue elevated rail line

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W H AT I S S I G N I F I C A N T A B O U T T H I S P L A C E ?

2011 WALLABOUT HISTORIC DISTRICTS ESTABLISHED

Myrtle Ave Rail, 1969. Photo by William Gedney.

2004 H  ISTORIC WALLABOUT FOUNDATION FOUNDED

1969 MYRTLE AVE EL DEMOLISHED

1966 P RESIDENT JOHNSON CLOSES THE NAVY YARD

1964 B QE CONSTRUCTION CUTS THROUGH WALLABOUT

1939 W  ORLD WAR II MAKES NAVY YARD LARGEST SHIPYARD IN THE WORLD

Wallabout Market in 1932. Located just north of Flushing Avenue between Washington Avenue and Ryerson Street, the market was at one time the second largest in the world. It closed in 1941.

in 1969 further severed the area’s accessibility. These factors along with larger changes in the social fabric of Brooklyn resulted in general disinvestment in the neighborhood (and throughout the borough). During this period, re-facing homes with aluminum, asphalt and vinyl siding became a common alternative to diligent maintenance for reasons of ease and economy. A substantial amount of original architectural details were lost as a result. Fortunately, a reversal of trends has occurred within the past few decades, with residents organizing the Historic Wallabout Association and working with the Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project LDC to preserve the neighborhood’s history by advocating for a contextual rezoning as well as local, state and federal historic districts. 15


3rd Level 2nd Level

Parlor Level Garden Level

IN STYLE

FAC ADE

EAVE

CORNICE

the “face” of the house

the “edge” or “overhang”of the roof

the “crown” of the house

THE ARCHITECTURE OF WALLABOUT

T

he following pages provide a glossary of common building terminology and an overview of the dominant architectural styles found on the residential blocks of Wallabout. It is important to note that more often than not, buildings reflect a blending of styles as the popularity of one style did not go immediately out of favor when another became fashionable. It was also common for homeowners to alter their homes to fit changing trends. Note: The style descriptions on the following pages are adapted from The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission Rowhouse Manual, which can be downloaded in its full version here: www.nyc.gov/html/lpc/downloads/pdf/lp_rhmanual.pdf

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AREAWAY

DORMER

the enclosed front “garden”

the window on a sloped surface


ENFRAMEMENT

LINTEL

SILL

C APITAL, SHAFT, PLINTH

the “frame” around the openings

the “head” of an opening

the “base” of an opening

the parts of a column

refers to the stone or brick structure supporting the window frame

the interior window sill is called a “stool” and sometimes has a flat vertical piece of trim below called an “apron”

decorative but also sheds water away from windows and doors [aka: trim, casing, molding]

1:

the “cap” or top; the length or shaft; and the square base, or plinth

SPANDREL

PILASTER

STOOP

TRANSOM + SIDELIGHTS

the panel above an arch

a column attached to a wall

the place where friendships are made, a Brooklyn classic

the windows around a door

W H AT I S S I G N I F I C A N T A B O U T T H I S P L A C E ?

17


THE STYLE SHEETS

GRE E K RE V I VA L

1835-1850

PORTICO

A small porch composed of a roof supported by columns, often found in front of a doorway

Characterized by simple and bold architectural elements, imitating Greek motifs 3 to 3 1/2 stories high with a basement and sometimes an attic story below the cornice

98-100 Vanderbilt Ave.

Stoop of medium height with wrought or cast-iron handrails, fence, and newels Vertical paneled wood door Grand entrance pilasters, sidelights, and enframements Six-over-six double-hung wood windows (shown far left image), six-over-nine often on the parlor floor (not shown), and sometimes small attic windows Modest molded window lintels and sills 73 Vanderbilt Ave.

81 Vanderbilt Ave.

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Wood dentiled cornice


Architectural elements inspired by natural

QUATREFOIL

A four-lobed decorative form used in Gothic architecture

forms, medievalism and the picturesque 3 stories plus basement Brick with brownstone trim or full brownstone faรงade

119 Vanderbilt Ave.

Stoop of medium height with cast-iron handrails, fence, and newels with elaborate Gothic motifs Recessed doorway with paneled wood door Door may include pointed arches and occasional trefoils or quatrefoils Door surmounted by horizontal hood molding or low Tudor arch or combination of the two with foliated spandrel carving Multi-paned double-hung wood windows or casement windows 117 Vanderbilt Ave.

117 Vanderbilt Ave.

Picturesque hooded stone window lintels

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W H AT I S S I G N I F I C A N T A B O U T T H I S P L A C E ?

THE STYLE SHEETS

GOTHI C RE V I VA L

1840-1860

19


THE STYLE SHEETS

ITA L I A N AT E

1840-1870

Ornament is elaborate, bold, projecting with

CONSOLE

A scroll-shaped projecting bracket that supports a horizontal member

repetitive forms 2 to 4 stories high with brownstone basement and usually a full brownstone façade High and wide stoop with elaborate cast-iron

419 Myrtle Ave

handrails, balusters, fence, and newels Deeply recessed doorway with heavily protruding door hood and console brackets Double-leaf doors with heavily molded arched panels Large double-hung 2-over-2 or 1-over-1 windows, sometimes with heavy muntins to imitate casement windows Heavy, projecting stone window lintels and sills (sometimes resting on brackets) or full window enframements 141 Clinton Ave.

95 Clinton Ave.

W A L L A B O U T H O M E O W N E R ’ S P R E S E R VAT I O N M A N U A L

Imposing, projecting cornice, embellished with moldings, supported by rectangular or scrollshaped brackets


B ALUSTRADE & NEWEL

A railing composed of balusters and a top rail running along the edge of a porch, balcony, roof or stoop. A newel is the main post at the foot of a stoop or stairway.

Characterized by extremely stylized, classical details, angular forms, and incised detailing formed by mechanical stone cutting 3 to 5 stories high with basement

131 Clinton Ave.

Brownstone and/or brick faรงade with simplified ornament, including single-line incised cuttings in the stone High stoop with massive, heavy angular castiron handrails, fence, and newels, massive door hood and enframement with angular decorative elements resting on stylized brackets Double-leaf wood entrance doors with angular ornament Stylized, angular incised window surrounds 2-over-2 or 1-over-1 double-hung windows

127 Washington Ave.

131 Clinton Ave.

Projecting angular bays Projecting wood or metal cornice resting on angular brackets

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W H AT I S S I G N I F I C A N T A B O U T T H I S P L A C E ?

THE STYLE SHEETS

NE O-G RE C

1865-1885

21


THE STYLE SHEETS

FRE N CH 2 ND E M P I R E

1860-1875

MANSARD

A roof having a double slope on all four sides, the lower slope being much steeper. In rowhouse design, a doublesloped roof on the building front, below a flat roof

Massing and ornamentation similar to that of the Italianate style 3 to 5 stories high Wide stoop with classically-inspired iron

419 Myrtle Ave

handrails, fence, and newels Mansard roof (usually slate with decorative iron crestings that line the roof edge) Doorway with stone pilasters, consoles, and segmental ached pediment

113 Clinton Ave.

419 Myrtle Ave.

W A L L A B O U T H O M E O W N E R ’ S P R E S E R VAT I O N M A N U A L


RELIEF

Carved or molded ornament that projects from a flat surface

Characterized by asymmetric massing of forms and details Contrasts of varied materials, colors, and textures

94 Clinton Ave.

Eccentric details, often with Classical or Renaissance precedents and often mixed with Romanesque Revival-style forms Use of terra cotta Wrought-iron used at doorways and railings L-shaped stoops or straight stoops Multi-paned wood doors 3-sided projecting bay windows Whimsical juxtaposition of window pane size, usually double-hung windows with small paned

94 Clinton Ave.

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94 Clinton Ave.

W H AT I S S I G N I F I C A N T A B O U T T H I S P L A C E ?

upper sash

THE STYLE SHEETS

Q UE E N A N NE

1870-1890

23


THE STYLE SHEETS

R E N A I SSA N C E R E V I VA L 1880-1920

FRIEZE

The middle horizontal member of a classical entablature, above the architrave and below the cornice, or a decorative band below the cornice 106 Clinton Ave.

Characterized by simple, restrained Renaissance design forms, and an interest in classicism 2 to 3 stories high Brownstone, limestone, or light-colored brick façade Subdued Classical ornament concentrated around door and window openings Applied detail includes motifs of wreaths, baskets of fruit, and garlands of flowers L-shaped stoop, often with two landings Entrance surround features a full stone enframement Wood double-leaf doors with glazed openings, sometimes with iron grilles

106 Clinton Ave.

338 Park Place (Prospect Heights) Photo: Christopher Brazee/LPC

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Simple iron cornice with Renaissance-inspired ornament


1890-1920

C ARTOUCHE

An oval shaped ornamental design element usually containing an inscription or date

Characterized by an academic classicism, symmetry of design, and an ordered, uniform appearance Rowhouses tend to have a steep mansard roof with ornate dormers, or flat or low-pitched roof

119 Clinton Ave.

White marble, limestone, or a light color brick façade Bold, three-dimensional stone carving and the use of cartouches as ornament Lacks high stoop—entrance door is one or two steps above the sidewalk Double-hung and casement wood windows Rowhouses tend to have curved or three-sided projecting bay windows Sheet metal cornice with console brackets 119 Clinton Ave.

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119 Clinton Ave.

W H AT I S S I G N I F I C A N T A B O U T T H I S P L A C E ?

embellished with friezes

THE STYLE SHEETS

BEAUX A RT S

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WHAT DOES IT C H A P TE R

MEAN TO BE IN A HISTORIC DISTRICT?

W A L L A B O U T H O M E O W N E R ’ S P R E S E R VAT I O N M A N U A L

LOCAL STATE NATIONAL


W

allabout contains a rare concentration of pre-Civil War wood frame cottages, early villas, and masonry rowhouses, interspersed with some mid-nineteenth century flats with storefronts, a few distinguished industrial buildings, and late nineteenth century rowhouses and apartment buildings. With the establishment of the local and state/national historic districts, this significance is officially recognized. Regulations and

incentives associated with these declarations are intended to protect and promote Wallabout’s unique architecture and “sense of place.” So what do these distinctions mean to homeowners? First and foremost, historic property owners in Wallabout are stewards of a significant piece of Brooklyn and the nation’s built heritage, from which lessons of the past can continue to be drawn. Caring for this rare physical fabric of another era is not only self-rewarding in that it strengthens an owner’s bond with his/her home, it is a gesture of civic goodwill, and often serves to increase the property’s value. A well maintained historic streetscape is a pleasing asset enjoyed by all who pass by and has real worth in the marketplace. With these historic districts come design guidelines and financial incentives intended to help owners care for their property in a sensitive manner, as well as maintain the historic and architectural integrity of the district. There are distinct differences between local and state/national historic districts, namely that the local district comes with regulatory oversight while the state/national district does not. It is important to understand these differences before undertaking any improvement projects.

2:

W hat does it mean to be a historic district ?

27


STATE AND NATIONAL HISTORIC DISTRICT

U N D E R S TA N D I N G T H E R E G I S T E R O F H I S T O R I C P L A C E S

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allabout’s state/national historic district comprises 204 buildings located on five blocks bounded by Myrtle and Park avenues. New York’s State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and the National Park Service (NPS) are responsible for maintaining the State and National Registers of Historic Places on which the Wallabout Historic District is listed. These registers are the official lists of buildings, structures, districts, objects, and sites significant in the history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture of New York and the nation. In the case of Wallabout, the district embodies a distinctive type of regional architecture and represents a significant period in the history of Brooklyn and the nation.

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Unlike local landmark designation, there are no restrictions placed on private owners of listed properties. Unless federal or state funding is involved, these owners may sell, alter or dispose of their property without needing to notify the SHPO. However, listing on the State and National Registers qualifies owners for tax incentives for sensitively rehabilitating their property. They are also eligible for finance assistance programs offered by the New York Landmarks Conservancy and the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission (see Chapter Two). visit nysparks.com/shpo/ for more info about New York State historic districts


S TAT E A N D NATIONAL HISTO R I C D I S T R I C T PA R

K

69

AV E N

73

UE

74 70

67 100

83

145

116 153

STREET

154

131

AV E N U E

118-128 132

123

HALL

WASHINGTON

AV E N U E

AV E N U E

123

W A V E R LY

CLINTON

AV E N U E

AV E N U E

V A N D E R B I LT

CLERMONT

108

2:

TLE

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455

MYR

421

387

143

AV E N U E

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STANDARDS FOR REHABILITATION

WORKING WITH THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR’S STANDARDS

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n the eyes of the SHPO and the NPS, a sensitive rehabilitation is one that adheres to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation, which is required in order to claim preservation tax credits. The Interior’s Standards prioritize best practices for maintaining and improving historic properties. An abbreviated version of these is featured on the following page. Accompanying the Interior’s Standards is a set of guidelines that describe responsible rehabilitation methods as well as a list of treatments that should be avoided. A copy of the Interior’s Standards and Guidelines can be obtained by contacting the SHPO or visiting the National Park Service website: www.cr.nps.gov

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In short, these principles can be summed up succinctly with three R’s—Retain, Repair, and Replace, with retention of the existing historic fabric being the most preferable tactic. When this is not possible, consider repairing it before replacing it. With regards to the last two Principals, there is long-term value in well conceived alterations; they enhance a building’s functionality without detracting from its historical and architectural integrity, which in turn increases the lifespan of the alteration and overall value of the property.


Ad a pt ed from “What E v er y Res torer Sh ou l d Kn o w, � b y Su s a n M o r s e , p u b lis h e d in t h e January/Febr uary 1 989 i ssu e of Hi st ori c P re se rva t io n .

Take every effort to use the building for its original purpose. Do not destroy distinctive original features. Recognize all buildings as products of their own time. Recognize and respect changes that have taken place over time. Treat distinctive stylistic features or examples of skilled craft work with sensitively. Repair rather than replace worn architectural features when possible. New material should match the old in design, composition, and color. Clean facades as gently as possible. Avoid sandblasting and other damaging methods. Protect and preserve affected archaeological resources. Contemporary alterations are acceptable. Do not destroy significant historical fabric. Build new additions so they can be removed without impairing the underlying structure.

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TEN BASIC PRINCIPLES

T E N B A SIC PRINCIPLES FOR S E N S I T I V E R E H ABI LI TAT I O N

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landmarks and historic districts. It is also responsible for establishing the boundaries of a district, which are typically drawn to encapsulate the area’s concentration of architecturally and historically significant buildings. These boundaries are by no means fixed forever; community groups can lobby the LPC to extend the district. Recent successful examples of historic districts that have been expanded include the Park Slope and Upper East Side historic districts.

NEW YORK CITY HISTORIC DISTRICT

OWNING WITHIN A LOCAL HISTORIC DISTRICT

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he smaller New York City-designated Wallabout Historic District encompasses most of the east and west sides of Vanderbilt Avenue between Myrtle and Park avenues. This block-long district provides what the City describes as “an exceptionally rich and varied portrait of mid-19th century residential architecture and include[s] one of the greatest surviving concentrations of mid-19th century wood houses in the city.” This district lies wholly within the state/national historic district, and is therefore eligible for the incentives that come along with such listing. The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) is the city agency responsible for identifying and designating individual

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Unless your property is a designated interior landmark (there are currently none in the Wallabout neighborhood), the LPC is primarily concerned with maintaining the historic and architectural integrity of a property’s exterior. These include the façade(s), windows, doors, roof profile, building materials and colors, hardscape features (railings and fences), and other defining characteristics. The LPC does not require building owners to restore their property to its historic appearance. However, if the owner decides to make improvements to his or her home, the LPC has a set of design guidelines. These guidelines describe how to make “appropriate” changes to a designated historic property. The features deemed significant to each building are identified in the “Building Profile” section of the LPC’s Designation Report for the Wallabout Historic District. A PDF copy of this report can be downloaded from the LPC’s website: nyc.gov/html/lpc/downloads/pdf/reports/wallabout.pdf


N E W YO R K C I T Y H I S TO R I C D I S T R I C T PA R

K

AV E

NUE

69 73 74 70 83

CLINTON AV E N U E

AV E N U E

AV E N U E

V A N D E R B I LT

CLERMONT 123

132

LE

AV E N 2:

W H AT D O E S I S I T M E A N T O B E I N A H I S T O R I C D I S T R I C T ?

UE

421

MYRT

387

145

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ALTERATIONS TO LOCAL LANDMARKS

WORKING WITH THE LANDMARKS PRESERVATION COMMISSION

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nly in local historic districts must building owners or tenants apply for a permit from the LPC before undertaking certain kinds of work. By law, the Commission must review any proposals for alterations to landmark buildings and determine whether they have any effect on the significant features of a building or the character of a historic district. Any such effect must be deemed harmonious or appropriate. Such oversight ensures that the special qualities of the block of Vanderbilt Avenue between Myrtle and Park avenues remain intact and unobscured. Not all work calls for the same level of scrutiny from the LPC. Normal maintenance, like repainting the porch to match its

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existing color or replacing broken window glass, does not require a permit from the LPC. Any work that has the potential of affecting the architectural significance of a designated property requires a permit. The LPC issues three types, each described on the following pages. If you have any doubt about whether a permit is needed, call the LPC at (212) 669-7817. After you submit a completed “Application Form for Work on Designated Properties,” a staff person will determine which type of permit could be issued based on your description of the proposed work. Each year the LPC processes applications for thousands of properties throughout the city, and because so, the agency cannot guarantee an immediate review. The LPC has a prescribed time period during which they must issue a decision on a complete application, depending on the type of work being proposed. Applications that can be approved at a staff level, without a public hearing, require less processing time and less graphic materials than applications that require a hearing. visit nyc.gov/html/lpc for more info about new york city historic districts and landmarks


CERTIFICATE OF NO EFFECT ON PROTECTED ARCHITECTURAL FEATURES “CNE”  Is s u e d w h en pro p o se d wo r k re q u i re s a D e pa r t me nt of B uildings ( DO B ) pe r mit but doe s not a ffect th e p rote c te d a rc h i t e c t u r a l f e a t u re s o f t he prope r t y. Some int e r ior w or k c a n pot e nt ia lly a ffe ct a p rop er ty ’s a p p e a r a n c e f ro m t h e e xt e r i o r, suc h a s a ne w pa r t it ion t ha t bloc ks a front w indow or an

If t h e L P C fin d s t h a t p ro p o se d wo r k w ould ne ga t iv e ly a ffe c t a building’s signific a nt prot e c ted fe a tu res , an LP C st a ff me m b e r ma y b e a ble t o he lp t he a pplic a nt re v ise t he proposa l t o a c hie ve a s at is fact or y s o l u t i o n . De c is ion s are i s su e d a t a s t a ff l e v e l wi t h i n 20 w or king da y s.

PERMIT FOR MINOR WORK “PME” Ne e d e d w h en t h e p ro p o s e d wo r k wi l l a ff e c t signific a nt prot e c t e d a rc hit e c t ur a l fe a t ure s but doe s not req u ire a De p a r t m e n t o f Bu i l d i n g s p e r mi t . De c is ion s are i s su e d a t a s t a ff l e v e l wi t h i n 30 w or king da y s. C om m on w or k i n c l u d e s:

2:

W i n d o w o r d o o r re p l a c e me nt

I n st a l l a t i o n o f a wi n d o w a ir c ondit ioning unit w it h br a c ke t s

M a so n r y c l e a n i n g o r re pa ir

Re p l a c i n g ro o f m a t e r i a ls on a ll roofs ot he r t ha n fla t roofs

Re s t o r a t i o n o f a rc h i t ec t ur a l fe a t ure s

S i d e wa l k re p a i r o r re pla c e me nt

I n st a l l i n g n e w t re e p i t s

Te m p o r a r y i n s t a l l a t i o ns ( suc h a s a w e a t he r iz e d e nt r a nc e )

W H AT D O E S I S I T M E A N T O B E I N A H I S T O R I C D I S T R I C T ?

CNE + PME

e x h au s t fan th a t c u t s t h ro u g h a d e c o r a t i v e e le me nt on t he building’s fa c a de .

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C of A

C E RT I F I C AT E O F A P P RO P R I AT E N E S S Needed when the proposed work requires a DOB permit and will affect significant protected architectural features. Projects of this nature, such as a rooftop or side addition or a new building, require the services of a licensed architect or contractor to produce accurate drawings that comply with the Building Code and local zoning regulation.

Applicants should expect approval to take at least 90 working days and that it is highly likely that the Commission will request revisions to the proposed design, which in turn may require more than one appearance before the Commission.

The Landmarks Law requires that a public hearing be held for each C of A application. The LPC typically conducts C of A hearings twice each month, on the first and third or second and fourth Tuesdays of the month. At least six of the eleven Commissioners must vote in favor of an application in order for it to be approved.

“C of A” Notice of each Commission hearing is published in the City Record for ten days before the hearing, and Community Boards are notified of applications affecting properties within their districts.

At the hearing, the applicant is given the opportunity to explain the proposed scope of work and articulate a rationale for appropriateness.

The public may comment on the proposed work. The applicant and the public may also submit written statements before the hearing, or afterwards until the time that the Commissioners vote on the application.

The Commissioners may discuss and vote on a C of A application on the same day that the public hearing is held. They may also ask for additional information or for changes to be considered, and hold open the application.

During any period in which the application is held open, pending another submission, LPC staff works with the applicant to respond to the Commissioners questions and comments. W A L L A B O U T H O M E O W N E R ’ S P R E S E R VAT I O N M A N U A L


D e s i g n a t e d l a n d m a r k s m u s t r e m a i n f r o z e n i n t i m e . FALSE New York City Landmarks can be altered in a number of ways—moder n systems can be installed, extensions can be added and they can even be demolished with Commission approval.

Properties must be restored to their original condition. FALSE

The LPC does not require building owners to restore their property to its historic appearance. It has a set of design guidelines for making “appropriate” improvements or alterations, should an owner plan to do so.

Designation reduces property values. FALSE Designation helps to retain unique architectural details and protect the special character of a neighborhood which makes an area and a building more desirable and ultimately more valuable. A number of studies have pointed to the increased resale value of buildings in historic districts when compared to similar buildings that are not designated.

It is expensive to maintain a designated landmark. FALSE The only requirement of owners of Landmark properties is that they keep their buildings in good repair, with character-defining features maintained.

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COMMON MYTHS

COMMON MYTHS ASSOCIATED WITH LOCAL LANDMARK DESIGNATION

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OUT OF BOUNDS

A NOTE FOR HOMEOWNERS OUTSIDE THE DISTRICT

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stablishment of the local and state/national historic districts in 2011 is an excellent and much deserved acknowledgement of Wallabout’s historic and architectural significance. However, it does not encompass all of the neighborhood’s worthy contributing structures. Examples include an 1840s shinglesided cottage on Carlton Avenue, a Greek Revival home with a columned porch on Adelphi Street, and a substantial number of rowhouses on Hall Street. As noted previously, these boundary lines can be extended with the appropriate lobbying effort of community organizations. Until then, owners of such properties are encouraged to treat their homes as if their significance were officially recognized for reasons described at the beginning of this chapter. Executing sensitive

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maintenance and rehabilitation projects increases a property’s prospect of future inclusion on the Registers and the benefits that come along with listing. In certain cases, a property need only be deemed “eligible for listing” by the SHPO to qualify for financial incentives, see Chapter 3 for more information.

Right: Civil War-era rowhouses on Hall Street, which is outside of the historic district boundaries.


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ARE C H A P TE R

FINANCIAL INCENTIVES AVAILABLE ?

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TAX CREDITS LOANS GRANTS


Th is ro w o f I t a l i a n a t e h o u s es o n Cl i n to n Aven u e h as retaine d a rem a r k a b l e d e g re e o f detai l .

T

Two ne o- Gre c rowhouse s on Wa ve rly Ave nue .

he previous chapter touched on a few of the many benefits of caring for a historic property—a closer connection with history, civic goodwill, and enhancement of the property’s value. There are benefits to owning property within a historic district too. Firstly, the regulatory oversight associated with the local historic district helps protect the qualities that make the district special, thus protecting the investments made by property owners. Additionally,

historic districts can, and often do, enhance community life for its residents—linking neighbors together through a shared sense of stewardship and belonging to a unique continuum. But there are also some very tangible benefits for owners and tenants of officially recognized historic properties as well as for those who want to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.

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improvement projects that comply with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. The three programs offer a 20% tax break on the total qualifying costs of a rehabilitation project. In certain cases, property owners can combine two or all credits!

HISTORIC PRESERVATION TAX CREDITS

I N C E N T I V E S I N T H E S TAT E / N AT I O N A L D I S T R I C T

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here are three historic preservation tax credit programs available to owners of properties listed on the National and State Registers, plus a program available to owners of commercial properties that were built before 1936 but are not listed on the Register. A tax credit lowers the amount of income tax owed. Listing on one or both of the Registers does not automatically qualify a property owner for these programs. For example, the Federal Historic Preservation Investment Tax Credit is available only to owners of non-residential properties, including income-producing homes.

But before a hammer is lifted, a few facts should be confirmed about the property. First off, check that it is indeed listed on the Register. One may think they pinpointed it on the Historic District map, but boundary lines can be deceiving. Find out by visiting the “Online Tools” page of New York’s SHPO website and selecting the GIS feature to search the address, refer to the Building List section in the Wallabout Historic District Nomination Report, or contact MARP (718-230-1689). It is also important to know if the Registered property is located in an eligible census tract. As of 2012, both census tracts that the Wallabout Historic District spans (nos. 187 and 191) are eligible to participate in the State Tax Credit programs. Once it has been confirmed that the property is indeed listed on the Register (and in an eligible census tract), one may proceed with the tax credit application process. To earn any credit, work must be approved by the SHPO before commencing. The State Homeowners Tax Credit Application Form can be downloaded from the New York SHPO website or by contacting their office: nysparks.com/shpo/tax-credit-programs/

For owners of eligible properties, these credits can translate into significant tax breaks for interior and/or exterior

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Right: Woodframe houses at 69-73 Vanderbilt Avenue, constructed prior to the Civil War.


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TAX CREDITS

20 % STATE H I S TO R I C PR E SE RVAT I O N H O M E OW N ER TA X C RE D I T Av a ila b le fo r o wn e r-o c c u p i e d h o me s l i st e d on th e S ta te R e g i st e r M u s t b e loc a t e d i n a q u a l i f y i n g c e n s u s t r a c t M in im u m e x p e n d i t u re $ 5 ,0 0 0 At leas t 5% o f t o t a l e x p e n d i t u re s mu st be s p en t on e xt e r i o r wo r k Wor k m u s t b e a p p ro v e d b y t h e Ne w Yo r k SH P O p r ior t o b e g i n n i n g wo r k Proces s in g f e e b e t we e n $ 5 0 a n d $ 5 0 0 d e p e n d in g o n t o t a l e xp e n d i t u re s Owner must hold the building for 2 years m in im u m If ad ju s te d g ro ss i n c o m e i s b e l o w $ 6 0 , 000, u n u s ed c redi t m a y b e t a k e n a s a re f u nd

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20% S TATE HIS TO RIC P RES ERVATIO N C O MMERCIAL INVES TMENT TAX C REDIT Av a ila ble t o ow ne r s of c omme rc ia l properti es ( inc luding inc ome - produc ing home s ) that a re list e d on t he St a t e R e gist e r or has been de e me d e ligible for list ing by t he S HP O Must be loc a t e d in a qua lify ing c e ns us tract ( a s of 2012, a ll of Wa lla bout qua lifi es ) R e ha bilit a t ion e xpe ndit ure s must be “ subst a nt ia l” Wor k must be a pprov e d by t he Ne w York SHPO pr ior t o be ginning w or k Proc e ssing fe e be t w e e n $100 a nd $5, 000 de pe nding on t ot a l e xpe ndit ure s O w ne r must hold t he building for 5 years minimum The sa me a pplic a t ion for m use d for the Fe de r a l c re dit is use d for t he St a t e


20% F E D E RA L H I S TO R I C PR E SE RVATI O N I N V E S T M E N T TA X C RE D I T

R eh ab ilit a tion e x p e n d i t u re s mu st b e “ s u b s t a n tia l” Wor k m u s t b e a p p ro v e d b y t h e Ne w Yo r k SH P O a n d N P S p r i o r t o b e g i n n i n g wo r k

Av a ila ble t o ow ne r s of non- hist or ic bui l di ngs pla c e d in se r v ic e be fore 1936 Applie s only t o buildings re ha bilit a t e d for non- re side nt ia l use s ( re nt a l housing does not qua lify ) R e ha bilit a t ion e xpe ndit ure s must be “ subst a nt ia l” Minimum e xpe ndit ure $5,000

Proces s in g fe e b e t we e n $ 5 0 0 a n d $ 2 ,5 00 d e p e n d in g on t o t a l e x p e n d i t u re s O w n e r m u s t o wn t h e b u i l d i n g f o r 5 y e a r s m in im u m a fte r re c e i v i n g t h e c re d i t

At le a st 50% of t he building’s e xt e r nal wal l s e xist ing a t t he t ime t he re ha bilit a t ion began must re ma in in pla c e a s e xt e r na l w a lls at the w or k’s c onc lusion At le a st 75% of t he building’s e xist ing e xt e r na l w a lls must re ma in in pla c e a s ei ther e xt e r na l or int e r na l w a lls

TAX CREDITS

Av a ila b le t o o wn e r s o f c o m m e rc i a l p ro p e r t ie s ( in clu d in g in c o m e -p ro d u c i n g h o m e s su c h a s ren t a l ap ar t me n t s) t h a t a re l i s t e d o n the N at ion a l R e gi s t e r

10% F EDERAL REHABILITAT ION TAX C REDIT

At le a st 75% of t he building’s int e r na l st r uc t ur a l fr a me w or k must re ma in in pl ace

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LOW INTEREST LOANS

LA N DMAR K S CONS E R VA N C Y H I S T O R I C P R O P E RT I ES F U N D

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he New York Landmarks Conservancy, a preservation advocacy organization that provides technical assistance to historic building owners in New York City, administers the Historic Properties Fund. Established in 1982, this program offers lowinterest loans and project management assistance to owners of historic residential, non-profit, religious, and commercial properties—mostly in low- to moderate-income communities. It is one of the largest, private revolving loan funds in the country used exclusively for historic preservation. Loans generally apply to exterior work or structural repairs and range from $35,000 to $300,000. Interest rates are generally low and terms usually range from 5 to 10 years. The

W A L L A B O U T H O M E O W N E R ’ S P R E S E R VAT I O N M A N U A L

Conservancy makes a special effort to keep closing costs as low as possible. Loans are only considered to owners of individually designated landmarks, properties in historic districts, or buildings or districts listed, or eligible for listing, on the State or National Register of Historic Places. The building must be within the five boroughs of New York City. If the building is eligible, the applicant must also show financial capability. Loans must be secured through mortgages or other acceptable collateral.

Right: The porch of the Italianate style home at 128 Clinton Avenue, built ca. 1850.


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HISTORIC PRESERVATION EASEMENT LANDMARKS CONSERVANCY PRESERVATION EASEMENT PROGRAM

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he New York Landmarks Conservancy accepts preservation easements on historic buildings throughout the City. The easements typically include all the exterior parts of a building including rear walls and roofs. Sometimes an easement can also include unused development rights. These development rights are extinguished when included in the easement donation. Property owners may claim a charitable deduction for the value of the donated easement. Certain federally mandated requirements must be met for an easement to qualify for a tax deduction. The staff of the Conservancy can discuss the requirements and answer your questions concerning preservation easements.

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Part of the requirements of a preservation easement is that the property be kept in good condition. Therefore the Conservancy conducts regular inspections and contacts the owners if any problems become evident. The Conservancy will work in collaboration with the owner to address the needed repairs and can provide referrals for architects, engineers, and contractors. It should be noted that the IRS has challenged the tax deductions of certain easements. Specifically those on residential buildings within locally designated historic districts. While the court cases continue, donors of such properties should speak to their attorney and tax advisor to be fully apprised of the situation prior to donating an easement. Right: The shaded streetscape of Vanderbilt Avenue, which is located in both the local and state/national historic districts.


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HISTORIC PRESERVATION GRANT

LA N DMAR K S P R E S E R VAT I O N C O M M I S S I O N G R A N T P R O G R AM

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he Historic Preservation Grant Program, administered by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, is a federally funded program through New York City’s Community Development Block Grant that provides grants for homeowners and non-profits to restore severely deteriorated facades. Grants range from $5,000 to $25,000 that can be applied to masonry rebuilding and repointing, repair and replacement of windows and front doors, and cornice restoration. To qualify for this grant, the building must be a designated or proposed individual New York City landmark, or be listed or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

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For residential buildings, owners or tenants must meet the federal limits for household income. For non-profits, the organization must be a charitable, scientific, literary, educational, or other entity organized under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and must own or hold a long-term lease on the designated property. Federal regulations restrict the use of grant funds for buildings used for government or religious purposes. Grant applications are reviewed periodically by the LPC Program Board. In making a determination about a request for a grant, the Board considers the following factors, among others: •

Architectural or historical importance of the structure;

Building condition and the significance of the repairs;

Applicant’s financial resources; and

Effect the grant will have on improving the building and/ or the district

Preference is given to owners who use their own funds along with the grant to restore the façade of their building. Right: Terra cotta detail above the entrance to the Queen Anne style tenement building at 94 Clinton Avenue, constructed in 1888.


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ENERGY EFFICIENCY INCENTIVES

NEW YORK STATE ENERGY RESEARCH DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY

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here are a number of historic restoration projects that can also serve as an opportunity to boost a building’s energy efficiency (thus lowering the utility bill), such as replacing old mechanical equipment, sealing leaky walls, replacing windows, or adding insulation. In some cases, the New York State Energy Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) can offset the costs of such projects, if funding is available. It is important to note that funding for its programs are closely tied to the state’s fiscal budget, which varies each year. Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to visit its website for the most up to date information: www.nyserda.ny.gov.

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HOME PERFORMANCE WITH ENERGY STAR ® tow ard s im p rovin g i t s p e r f o r m a n c e . T h e se so c a lle d “ e ne r gy a udit s” a re a dia gnost ic a nd fore nsic tes t of a h om e ’s en er gy u s e . F o r q u a l i f y i n g p a r t i c i pa nt s, a n a c c re dit e d Home Pe r for ma nc e Cont r a c t or w i l l vi s i t th e h om e t o id e n t i f y p o t e n t i a l e n e r g y l e a k s a nd prov ide a dv ic e for sa v ing e ne r gy. ( For more infor m ati on o n en er gy au d it s , se e p a g e 5 9 ). Q ua lify in g p a r t ic ip a n t s m a y a l so b e e l i g i b l e for t he progr a m’s 10% c a sh ba c k High E ffic ie nc y Meas ure I n ce n tiv e ( H EM I) , o r l o w-i n t e re s t f i n a n c i n g f o r c e r t a in improv e me nt me a sure s, inc luding: H igh - e ffic ie n c y f u r n a c e

G a s le a k re pa ir

G rou n d s ou rc e h e a t p u mp ( f i n a n c i n g o n l y)

Dr a ft pre v e nt ion

Pe lle t s tov e ( f i n a n c i n g o n l y )

Ce iling Fa ns

C en t r al a ir

W indow s (f i na nci ng onl y)

H igh - e ffic ie n c y wa t e r h e a t e r ( f i n a n c i n g onl y)

I nsula t ion

Sola r th e r m a l p a n e l s ( f i n a n c i n g o n l y )

Air se a ling

L ow - flow s h o we r h e a d s En e r gy S ta r- c e r t i f i e d d e h u m i d i f i e r En e r gy S ta r- c e r t i f i e d CF L b u l b s

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A R E F I N A N C I A L I N C E N T I V E S A VA I L A B L E ?

ENERGY SHEETS

T h is p rogr a m offe r s a f re e o r re d u c e d c o st home e ne r gy a sse ssme nt , w hic h is t he c r it ic a l fir st s tep

53


ENERGY SHEETS

EMPOWER NEW YORK STATE GRANT PROGRAM Em P ow er N e w Yo r k i s a p ro g r a m t h a t p rov ide s fina nc ia l a ssist a nc e for e ne r gy improv e me nt s. T he program is ava ila b le t o f a m i l i e s wh o e a r n 6 0 % or le ss of t he Ne w Yor k me dia n inc ome le v e l. Unde r t his program , a n accre d ite d Ho me P e r f o r ma n c e Co nt r a c t or w ill e v a lua t e y our home a nd ma ke t he ne c e ss ary repai rs in c lu d in g equ i p m e n t re p l a c e m e n t a t n o c ost t o t he home ow ne r. To ap p ly: w w w.n y s e rd a .n y.g o v Ex am p le m e a su re s i n c l u d e : R e fr ige r a t o r R e p l a c e me n t H igh E ff i c i e n c y L i g h t F i xt u re s I n s t alla t ion In s u la ti o n A ir Se a l i n g H e a tin g S y st e m R e p a i r s

PHOTO-VOLTAIC INCENTIVE PROGRAM (PON 2112) N Y S ER DA pro v i d e s c a sh i n c e n t i v e s t o ConE d a nd Na t iona l G r id c ust ome r s for inst a lling photo-vol tai c ( P V) s y s t e m s s ma l l e r t h a n 7 k W o n t h e ir home s. PV sy st e ms a re inst a lle d on t he roof a nd convert the s u n ’s en er gy i n t o e l e c t r i c i t y. I n c e n t i v e s a re ba se d on $1.50 pe r w a t t a nd c a n offe r up t o $10, 500 i n s avin gs . In c e n t i v e s wi l l b e g r a n t e d o n a fir st - c ome , fir st - se r v e d ba sis, a nd PV inc e nt iv e a pplicati ons wi l l b e a c c e p te d t h ro u g h D e c e m b e r 3 1 , 2 0 1 5, or unt il funds a re fully c ommit t e d, w hic he v e r c ome s fi rs t. Thi s in c e n tiv e m u s t b e a p p l i e d f o r b y a n NY SE R DA- c e r t ifie d inst a lle r, w ho w ill c omple t e a n e ne r gy audi t (s ee p g. 59) of t h e h o me p r i o r t o t h e d e s i g n a nd inst a lla t ion of t he PV sy st e m. To ap p ly: w w w.n y se rd a .n y.g o v

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E n ac te d in J u ly 2 0 0 5 , t h i s l e g i s l a t i o n p ro v i de s loc a l a nd st a t e sa le s t a x e xe mpt ions on t he purc has e of any re s id en t ia l s o l a r e n e r g y sy st e m, i n c l u d i n g pa ssiv e sola r, sola r w a t e r he a t a nd phot o- v olt a ic s. V isit n yc . gov an d t a x .n y.g o v f o r m o re i n f o r m at ion.

SOLAR-THERMAL INCENTIVE PROGRAM - PON 2149 NYSER DA als o p ro v i d e s c a s h i n c e n t i v e s t o Co nE d a nd Na t iona l G r id c ust ome r s w ho inst a ll a sola r t herm al syst e m . S ola r th e r m a l p a n e l s d i ff e r f ro m P V pa ne ls be c a use t he y use w a t e r t o a bsor b t he he a t of t he s un for h e a tin g, s h ow e r i n g , d i sh wa sh e r s a n d c l o t he s w a she r s. This inc e nt iv e is giv e n on a fir st c ome, fi rs t serv e b a s is u n t il f u n d i n g e x p i re s . T h is in cen t iv e m ust b e a p p l i e d f o r b y a n NY S E R DA- c e r t ifie d inst a lle r, w ho w ill c omple t e a n e ne r gy audi t o f the h om e p r ior t o t h e d e s i g n a n d i n st a l l a t i on of t he sola r t he r ma l sy st e m. The a ssume d e ne r gy savi ngs w ith in in t h e lifet ime o f i n s t a l l e d c o m p o n e n t s must be gre a t e r t ha n t he purc ha se a nd inst a lla t ion c os t. T h e am ou n t of th e i n c e n t i v e i s b a se d o n $ 1 .50 pe r kWh displa c e d a nnua lly, up t o a ma ximum of 8 0% of th e c a lc u la te d e x i st i n g t h e r ma l l o a d o r $ 4 ,0 00 pe r sit e /me t e r. A t ot a l of roughly $25 million is a v ai l abl e for i n c e n tiv e s t h ro u g h D e c e mb e r 3 1 , 2 0 1 5 , f unde d from t he “ R PS surc ha r ge ” on c ust ome r e le c t r ic it y bi l l s . Ap p ly at n ys erd a .n y.g o v

3:

A R E F I N A N C I A L I N C E N T I V E S A VA I L A B L E ?

ENERGY SHEETS

SOLAR SALES TAX EXEMPTION RESOLUTION #1121-2005 (NYC) & ARTICLE 28 11115 (NYS)

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HOW DO C H A P TE R

I CARE FOR MY HISTORIC HOME ?

W A L L A B O U T H O M E O W N E R ’ S P R E S E R VAT I O N M A N U A L

PRESERVATION SUSTAINABILITY MAINTENANCE


The homes at 71 (left) and 127 (right) Vanderbilt Avenue were closely studied to understand the issues most prevalent in historic homes of Wallabout. Both homes are diagramed in this chapter to highlight these issues. Photos: Christopher Brazee/LPC

H

ouses, both new and old, are in a constant state of flux, responding to forces that bear upon them. No building is immune from the effects of rain, snow, wind, thermal changes with the seasons, gravity, or the very people inhabiting them. Successful maintenance procedures work with, rather than against, these forces—gutters to channel rainwater away from the house, gable vents to release rising warm air, and expansion joints to allow large expanses of masonry to expand and contract with the freeze and thaw cycles.

It is important to remember that many of the defining elements of a home’s exterior appearance—the cornice, the siding, the porch, and window sills, to name just a few—serve more than a stylistic purpose. They help protect the spaces within from environmental forces. Understanding the function and material qualities of these elements is key to effective and lasting maintenance, and ultimately preserving the historic authenticity of your home. In cases where original elements have been lost to time, an analysis of a neighboring house may prove enlightening, as many houses in Wallabout were built in rows of two or more identically styled houses by a single builder-developer. If located within a historic district, much of the work that a homeowner needs or wants to do on a building’s shell will be regulated in some way by the Landmarks Preservation Commission or the State Historic Preservation Office (if applying for tax credits), and approval granted on the basis of appropriateness to the building’s historic character. This chapter is intended to provide an overview of a home’s dominant features and their associated issues. For more detailed information about maintaining and restoring historic architectural features, including which actions require LPC approval, refer to the LPC’s Rowhouse Manual. Download the Rowhouse Manual: nyc.gov/html/lpc/downloads/pdf/lp_rhmanual.pdf

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57


INVESTIGATE, PLAN + MAINTAIN

HOME INSPECTIONS, ENERGY AUDITS, MAINTENANCE

A

ssessing the existing conditions of a home from its foundation to its roof is essential prior to beginning any major improvement project. A close analysis by a licensed contractor or engineer, as is typically done before purchasing a home, should reveal critical repairs. It is also wise to have an energy audit conducted by a licensed professional who will locate sources of heat loss in the home. It is recommended that the auditor be BPI accredited and New York State Energy (NYSERDA) approved. Partnering with a NYSERDA-approved auditor is the first step in obtaining qualified incentives as outlined on pages 53-55. www.bpi.org & www.nyserdagreenny.org

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These in-home assessments can form the basis of a longterm maintenance plan, pointing the way to problems that should be addressed immediately and those that should be addressed on a cyclical basis, such as gutter cleaning. A task list of necessary repairs and routine maintenance is key to creating an appropriate annual budget, further helping a homeowner prioritize work. A recommendation of seasonal maintenance tasks can be found on pages 60-61.


ENERGY AUDIT time. Th e r it u a ls o f t h e h o m e ’s o c c u p a n t s a re t he single most pow e r ful w a y t o ma int a in a n e ne r gy effi ci ent h om e, s o t h e in t e r v i e w i s a n i m p o r t a n t s t e p t ow a rd e ne r gy sa v ings. To he lp t his proc e ss, t he re are a few items t h e occu p a n t c a n h a v e o n h a n d t o u n de r st a nd t he home ’s e ne r gy c onsumpt ion:

1 2 co nsecut ive m on t h s of e l e c t ri c a n d ga s bi lls

Phot o s of renov a t i on w ork i n progre ss t h a t m a y re v e a l e x t e r io r w a ll c o n s t r u c t io n

Plans or drawings of t h e h om e

T h e a u d itor w ill p e r f o r m a v i s u a l i n sp e c t i o n of t he home a nd ide nt ify c ost e ffe c t iv e w a y s t o improve the o ve r all com for t a n d t h e e ff i c i e n c y o f t h e b u i lding. The y w ill look a t t he a ge a nd c ondit ion of t he wi ndows , th e con d it ion of t h e e xt e r i o r wa l l s , a n d t h e a ge of me c ha nic a l e quipme nt in t he home . B e y ond a vi s ual insp e c tion , th e aud i t o r ma y a l so p e r f o r m a s e r ie s on t e st s on t he home , inc luding:

 Blower

Doo r Te st : S i m pl y a l a rge pow e rfu l f a n t h a t is m o u n t e d t o t h e f r a m e o f t h e f ro n t d o o r. T h e f a n p ulls air o ut

of t he house, re du c i n g t h e a i r pre ssu re i n si de . T h is a llo w s h ig h e r o u t s id e a ir p re s s u re t o f lo w t h ro u g h a n y uns ealed cracks in window s, ou t l e t s, a n d pl u m bi n g pe ne t r a t io n s . T h e a u d it o r w ill w a lk t h ro u g h t h e h o u s e w it h a “ s m o ke p encil” t o det er mine w h e re t h e re a re l e a k s by w a t c h i n g f o r w h e n t h e s m o k e s h if t s o r p u lls . Infr ared Imaging: Th e rm a l i m a gi n g c a m e ra s c a n h e lp a u d it o r s s e e in t o w a lls u s in g in f r a re d d a t a . B y o b s er v ing the shift s in t empe ra t u re on a n i n t e ri or w a l l , t h e a u d it o r w ill b e a b le t o d e t e r m in e a re a s w h e re in s u la t io n m a y be need ed or where addit i on a l se a l i n g i s re qu i re d. Wall Probes: Wh e n a n i n fra re d i m a ge i s n ot us e f u l, t h e a u d it o r m a y d r ill a s m a ll h o le in t o t h e w a ll t o d e t e r m ine the R- v alue, or t herm a l re si st a n c e , of t h e bu i l di n g e n v e lo p e . Ener gy Model:

In som e c a se s a di gi t a l e n e r g y m o d e l m a y b e c re a t e d t o s im u la t e t h e c o n d it io n s o f a ho m e and

t est st ep- by - ste p e n e rgy e ff i c i e n c y m e a su re s ( E E M s ) — a d d in g in s u la t io n , re p la c in g w in d o w s , a n d in s t a lling new

ENERGY AUDIT

A 3- 4 h ou r lon g h o m e e n e r g y a u d i t wi l l u su a lly be gin w it h a n int e r v ie w t o unde r st a nd pa t t e r ns of us e over

equipment —pre di c t i n g w h i c h i m prove m e n t s will h a v e t h e m o s t im p a c t f o r t h e le a s t a m o u n t o f m o n e y.

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HOW DO I CARE FOR MY HISTORIC HOME?

59


SEASONAL CARE

EARLY SPRING C h eck for lea k s t h a t ma y b e m a d e wo r se by spr ing r a in st or ms. C lean ou t a l l t h e g u t t e r s . Ch e c k f o r c logs in dow nspout s. Ma ke sure a ll gu tter s an d down spouts are a tta c h e d s e c u re l y t o t h e h o m e . V is u ally in s pe c t t h e g ro u n d a ro u n d t h e h ou se a nd re - gr a de a s ne e de d. The ground should s l ope down a n d aw a y, d i re c t i n g wa t e r f ro m t h e f o unda t ion. M ak e s u re t h e s u m p p u m p i s wo r k i n g . I t c a n be t e st e d by re mov ing t he lid a nd pour ing w a ter i n. If the p u m p k ic k s o n , i t i s i n g o o d s h a p e . C h an ge f ur n a c e fi l t e r s o n c e e v e r y t h re e mont hs. C lean an d ma i n t a i n t h e b o i l e r re g u l a rly. This w ill e nsure pe a k e ffic ie nc y a nd sa v e mone y on uti l i ty bi l l s . H ire a B P I- a c c re d i t e d h e a t i n g c o n t r a c t or t o e nsure qua lit y se r v ic e . R e que st a c ombust ion a nal ys i s whi ch w ill rep or t y o u r b o i l e r ’s o p e r a t i n g e ff i c i e nc y. R em ov e s to r m wi n d o ws a n d i n st a l l sc re e ns Sp r ay for t e r mi t e s

EVERY SUMMER C los e w in d o ws a n d sh u t t e r s d u r i n g t h e da y w he n a w a y. This w ill preven t th e h eat from coming in. A t n igh t w h e n t h e t e m p e r a t u re d ro p s , o pe n w indow s on bot h e nds of t he house t o le t c ool night breezes c ool t h e h o u s e d o wn . In s t a ll s c re e n s o n w i n d o w s . R e p a i r a ny hole s or t e a r s. In s p ect an d i f n e c e s sa r y, re p a i r t h e b l ue st one or c onc re t e side w a lk in front of t he home .

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Clean ou t a ll t h e g u t t e r s . Ch e c k f o r c l o g s in dow nspout s. Ma ke sure a ll gu tter s an d down spouts are a t ta c h e d s e c u re l y t o t h e h o me . Hire a p rofes s i o n a l t o i n sp e c t a n d c l e a n any ope r a t iona l fireplace an d ch imn ey. R e p a ir f la s hi n g w i t h h i g h g ra d e c o p p e r. Do not use t ar as t hi s wi l l not p rop erl y p revent l eaks. R e po int ing a n d re p a i ri n g t h e g ro u t o f e xt eri or b ri ck wal l s i s b est d one d uri ng mi l d f al l t emp s . Dr a in a nd t ur n o ff o u t d o o r s p i g o t s t o p revent wi nt er f reez i ng.

EVERY WINTER R e m o v e w indo w -u n i t a i r c o n d i t i o n e r s or inst a ll a t ight - fit t ing c ov e r from t he ha rdw a re st ore . Thi s wi l l g o a lon g a w a y t o p re v e n t e n e r g y l o s s a s w int e r a pproa c he s. Rem ov e s c ree n s a n d i n s t a l l s t o r m w i n dows. R e m o v e s no w a c c u m u l a t i o n .

EVERY 3-5 YEARS Che c k the roo f. L o o k f o r a n y p u n c t u re s , t e a r s, blist e r ing or rot t ing roofing. Hire a profe ssiona l to repai r a s n eed ed . A s s e s s e q uip m e n t . I f t h e b o i l e r i s 1 0 -1 5 y e a r s old or is not w or king, c onside r re pla c ing it w ith a hi ghe fficien cy u n it t h a t h a s e a r n e d t h e E NE RG Y STAR la be l. E v a lua te the c o n d i t i o n o f t h e b u i l d i n g mater ials. R e pa ir, re pa int , or re pla c e w ood e le me nt s, cl addi ng, br ick an d s ton e wo r k . Re g u l a r ma i n t e n a nc e c a n sa v e t housa nds in ma jor re pa ir s re quire d due t o negl ect

SEASONAL CARE

LATE FALL

o r p oor re p a ir wo r k .

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61


ALIGNED VALUES H I S T O R I C P R E S E R V AT I O N + S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y

I

n large part, the historic homes of Wallabout date from an era when the need for “comfort” was met with sensitive design that responded to and harnessed nature’s elements, in addition to maximizing durability and minimizing maintenance. These remain the fundamental tenets of sustainable design today and it is worthwhile to maintain these aspects in tandem with preservation efforts. As preservation expert Jo Ramsay Leimenstoll points out, “Further evidence of the close alignment of sustainability and preservation are the hierarchical three R’s of the Secretary’s Standards: Retain, Repair, Replace, and the four R’s of sustainability: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Repair.”

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Reduction is the first tenant of sustainability and it relates to material reduction as well as energy reduction. The most effective way to reduce energy use in the home is to be aware of patterns that may be wasting energy. Turning off lights, coffee makers and computers, closing windows when heating or cooling systems are running, and turning off those systems when temperatures outside are mild enough to open the windows are some simple ways to reduce energy that can also lead to significant cost savings. Of course, some improvements, like adding insulation, can be made with no loss of historic integrity. The following three pages explore a home’s environmental performance.


OWNER RITUALS w arm e r th a n are a c t u a l l y n e c e s sa r y i n o rd e r to sa t isfy t he e xt re me e nds of t he c omfor t spe c t r um. A l l owi ng a fe w m in u te s for t h e b o d y ’s t e m p e r a t u re t o a djust a ft e r e nt e r ing a n int e r ior spa c e a nd low e r ing one’s p ers on al c om for t e x p e c t a t i o n s i s e n e r g y e ff i c ie nt liv ing.

K n ow w h a t y o u r t y p i c a l e n e r g y u s e i s . Ta ke a look a t 12 mont hs of ut ilit y bills a nd ide nt ify high cos t m on th s . Th e o c c u p a n t c a n t h e n t r a c k c ha nge s a s y ou ma ke ha bit a djust me nt s. “ Sma r t ” me t ers and ou t le ts c a n g o e v e n f u r t h e r t o i d e n t i f y t he e ne r gy v a mpire s in t he home .

F or e v e r y 3 d e g re e s t h a t o n e se t s t h eir t he r most a t highe r ( summe r ) or low e r ( w int e r ) y ou c an s ave 10% on th e u t i l i t y b i l l s. A d j u st t o t h i s c ha nge slow ly, one de gre e a t a t ime , a nd one ’s fa mi l y wi l l lik ely n eve r n o t i c e a d i ff e re n c e .

Dre s s in g f o r t h e s e a so n i s a s ma r t a n d simple w a y t o re duc e ut ilit y bills. Huma n bodie s ha v e natural m e c h a n is m s t h a t a d j u st t o t e m p e r a t ure c ha nge s e a c h se a son. The se na t ur a l re sponse s can be con fu s e d b y e xt re m e l y h o t s p a c e s i n c olde r mont hs a nd c hilly spa c e s in t he summe r. Wom en and m e n , c h ild re n , a n d t h e e l d e r l y a l s o ha v e v e r y diffe re nt c omfor t le v e ls w hic h c a n ma ke t he rm os tat s e ttin gs a t r i c k y b a r g a i n . S i m p l y a dding la y e r s t o one ’s da ily out fit is a more e ffe c t iv e way of ad ju s tin g p e r so n a l t e m p e r a t u re a n d i t is a lso a good w a y t o a v oid t he t he r most a t ba t t le !

4:

HOW DO I CARE FOR MY HISTORIC HOME?

SUSTAINABILITY

Th e m od er n ex p e c t a t i o n o f c o mf o r t h a s re a c he d a n unsust a ina ble limit . Spa c e s a re oft e n muc h c ool er or

63


INSULATING YOUR HOME

SUSTAINABILITY

P rop e r ly in s u la t i n g a h o me re d u c e s h e a t l o ss a nd e ne r gy c ost s. I nsula t ion is t y pic a lly se le c t e d bas ed on the R- v a lu e . Th is is t h e me a su re o f a m a t e r i a l ’s a bilit y t o re je c t he a t t r a nsfe r. I n a ddit ion t o R - v a lue , the am ount o f recyc le d cont e n t , c h e mi c a l c o n t e n t , a nd t he inst a lla t ion loc a t ion should be c onside re d w he n choos i ng ins u lat ion .

INSULATION TYPES Lis t e d b elow are t h e d i ff e re n t t y p e s o f i n sula t ion one might c hoose , t he ir re c omme nde d gre e n fe atures , and wh ere t h e y are t y p i c a l l y u s e d . A l wa y s u se a profe ssiona l inst a lle r.

BLOWN-IN: R-Va l u e i s 2. 0-3. 5 pe r in c h . Ty p ic a lly u s e d in a t t ic s o r in e x is t in g w a lls . M a d e o f fib er g las s , c e l l u l ose or m i n e ra l w o o l.

SPRAYE D : R-Va l u e i s 5. 0-6. 0 pe r in c h . Ty p ic a lly u s e d in h a rd - t o - re a c h p la c e s . T h is in s u la t io n als o has air se a l i n g c a pa c i t i e s, w h ic h c a n h e lp t o im p ro v e t h e a ir t ig h t n e s s o f a h o m e b u t c a n als o tr ap in w a t e r a n d l e a d t o m o ld is s u e s .

BLANKE T: R-va l u e i s 3. 0-3. 5 pe r in c h . M a d e o f m in e r a l f ib e r, f ib e r g la s s , h e m p o r o ld b lu e jeans . T his i n su l a t i on t ype i s u su a lly in s t a lle d b e t w e e n w a ll s t u d s .

RIGID: R-va l u e i s 4. 0-5. 5 pe r in c h . M a d e o f e x t r u d e d p o ly - s t y re n e . C a n b e u s e d o n t h e ex ter io r o f n e w w a l l s i n c l u di n g fo u n d a t io n w a lls . T h is in s u la t io n is in s t a lle d “ c o n t in u o u s ly ” w it h each s eam c a re f u l l y j oi n e d, a n d i s c o n s id e re d t h e b e s t d e f e n s e a g a in s t e n e r g y lo s s in t h e h o m e.

CHOOSING GREENER, HEALTHIER INSULATION

L ook fo r p ro d u c t s wi l l h i g h re c y c l ed c ont e nt : 50- 85% by w e ight

Select products with the Greenguard ® Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) certificate. www.greenguard.org

C h oos e n o n -p e t ro l u e m , f o r m a l d e h y de - fre e produc t s, like soy, w ool a nd de nim.

WA LL A B O U T H OMEOWNE R ’ S P R ESE R VAT I ON M A N U A L


SHADING & SOLAR HEAT GAIN So la r h e a t gain is t h e t e n d e n c y o f t h e h o me to a bsor b he a t ( in bot h dire c t ions) t hrough t he ma t e r ial s of the sou th a n d w es t fa c i n g f a c a d e s . S h a d i n g i s t he most e ffe c t iv e me t hod. Hist or ic a lly, home s w e re des i gned w ith s im p le s h ad ing st r a t e g i e s — d e e p ro o f o v e r ha ngs, porc he s, fa br ic a w nings—t o ke e p t he ir home s cool on su m m e r d a y s . Toda y, t h e se s a m e st r a t e g i e s c a n y ie ld a subst a nt ia l re duc t ion in me c ha nic a l c ooling cos ts .

HEALTHY HOME W h e n re p a ir in g or c l e a n i n g a h o me , i t i s i mp o rt a nt t o know w ha t c he mic a ls a nd t oxins one ma y be int roduci ng in to t h e in d oor env i ro n me n t . www.c d c .g o v /h e a lt hy home s or w w w.he a lt hy home .c om H ARD FLOORING : U se re c l a i m e d o r re s p o n s ib ly - s o u rc e d s o lid w o o d , c e r a m ic t ile o r F lo o r Sc o re-cer tified  produ c t s. w w w.r f c i. c o m CARPET: Ch oose G re e n L a b e l- c e r t if ie d p ro d u c t s . B e s t f o r a lle r g y s u ff e re r s t o a v o id a l to g ether. c a rpe t -ru g. org

LIQUIDS:

Ch oose “l ow V O C ” a n d “ z e ro - VO C ” p a in t s , c o a t in g s , s e a le r s , s e a la n t s a n d a d hes iv es .

COMPOSITE W O O D :

Ch oose u re a -f or m e ld h y d e - f re e p ro d u c t s t h a t h a v e t h e G re e n g u a rd ® I AQ c e r t ificate.

CLEANING S U P P L IE S :

P u rc h a se produ c t s t h a t h a v e a G re e n Se a l. w w w. g re e n s e a l. o r g

GARDENING Many Wa lla b ou t ho m e s f e a t u re f ro n t a n d re a r ga rde n a re a s. The se sma ll ga rde ns prov ide t he wel com e relie f from t h e u b i q u i t o u s h o t p a v e me n t o f a ma jor me t ropolis, e ffe c t iv e ly c ooling t he a ir a round t he hom e. Maint a in in g p la n te d a re a s a n d mi n i mi z i n g h ard sur fa c e pa v ing a lso a lle v ia t e s flooding dur ing he a vy rai ns , w h ic h is a c r it ic a l i ssu e i n NY C. U si n g n a t iv e a nd a da pt iv e pla nt ing is a lso a gre a t w a y t o ma intai n an

SUSTAINABILITY

w alls , roof an d w i n d o ws . I n t h e s u mme r, i t i s impor t a nt t o re duc e t he pe ne t r a t ion of t he sun’s he a t through

au then t ic B rook ly n g a rd e n t h a t re q u i re s s u bst a nt ia lly le ss w a t e r t ha n non- na t iv e pla nt s. A list of thes e p lan t s c a n b e fou n d o n t h e “Na t i v e S p e c i e s Pla nt ing G uide ” w e bpa ge a t ny c gov pa r ks.or g.

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WATER TABLE A large majority of the buildings in Brooklyn are B constructed close to the water table. This is especially true in Wallabout, which is partially situated on a former marshland. It is essential that any cellar be furnished with a sump pump, which forces rising water back into the ground. For homes with finished basements, it would also be wise to obtain flood insurance.

FURNACE

THE CELLAR

A

YOUR HOME REVEALED

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he cellar is the most critical area of a home to monitor as well as the easiest because most of its elements are exposed. Here, foundation walls, girders, joists, pipes, and boilers reveal a lot about a building’s overall condition. A homeowner should be on the lookout for significant cracks, misalignments, bulges, termites, and biological growth such as mold, which is the result of long-term exposure to moisture. Some issues can be detected by using one’s other senses––listening for the sound of dripping water or clanging of a pipe, feeling for drafts, judging the condition of a masonry wall through touch, and smelling for odd odors.

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The furnace is the earliest form of centralized heating, which comprised heating coal in an iron furnace in the cellar. The heated air rose by means of convection up ducts and through floor registers to warm spaces.

STEAM

D The steam boiler heats water to steam, rather than heating the air directly. This is more efficient, and thus cheaper. Steam rises up pipes to cast iron radiators to heat individual rooms. Single-pipe systems take both the steam and resulting condensate through the system. The clanging noises commonly associated with steam heat are caused by steam slamming condensate water against the far side of the radiator. RADIANT

E This is the most prevalent heating system in Brooklyn. Using water instead of steam, this system uses electric powered pumps to propel hot water into radiators, finned baseboard units, or radiant flooring. The recirculating hot water system can be zoned for adjusting the temperature of separate spaces of a home.


TERMITES

C

The telltale sign of termites are meandering tunnels of mud running along surfaces.

D

Richard Perri, a longtime home inspector in Brooklyn, says that because of the high water table, almost all old homes have had termite infestation. If left unaddressed, termites will compromise a home’s wood frame structure.

STEAM

C A CELLAR

D

E RADIANT

E

Consider replacing your old boiler with

B

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WATER TABLE For illustration purposes only

HOW DO I CARE FOR MY HISTORIC HOME?

a modern high efficiency boiler.

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SIGNS OF STRUCTURAL DISTRESS Often the biggest indicator of a possible serious structural problem, a crack indicates symptoms of movement, some of which are of no structural consequence.  Expansion and contraction cracks are caused by G changes in temperature and humidity.  A stepped crack indicates a differential settlement of H the soil or foundation support.

THE STRUCTURE

F

YOUR HOME REVEALED

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he adage “out of sight, out of mind” could not be more applicable than when it comes to understanding the structure of a home. In most Brooklyn homes, this system is composed of a masonry foundation (below ground) and wood framework (above ground). The walls separating two rowhouses is known as a “party wall.” These walls are composed of two or more wythes (horizontal layers) of brick for stability and fire enclosure. In narrow rowhouses (usually 16’ wide or less), the party walls support the weight of floors and the roof. Wider rowhouses have internal load-bearing walls that are supported by piers at the foundation. In some homes, the framework has brick infill to provide some measure of fire protection and does not serve a structural purpose.

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 A straight crack across a plaster ceiling perpendicular I to the direction of floor structure indicates that the joists have deflected or sagged.  Horizontal cracks at mid-height level indicate a weak J foundation wall.  Sagging can be caused by a loss of stiffness in a K structural member, such as a pitched roof.  A floor that slopes to one side can indicate differential L soil settlement or the deflection of inadequately sized supports in the basement, causing the whole side of the house to move downwards. The M

front or rear masonry wall may tilt forward or bulge outward noticeably over time due to settling or pressure from an adjacent house. Water infiltration can compromise the connection of a wood floor joist to the exterior wall, causing the wall to bulge.


K F WOOD FRAME Sometimes it has brick infill

F LOAD BEARING WALL

I

In rowhouses, most of the weight is supported by the exterior walls. Interior load-bearing walls are perpendicular to the party walls and are typically near the center of the house. Homeowners should seek expert advice (and a building permit) before altering a loadbearing wall as inserting openings will require reinforcing the distributed weight.

M

L H SIGNS OF STRUCTURAL DISTRESS

G

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I

J

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M ANAGING RAINWATER Roofs are designed to slope to a downspout that channels rainwater away from the house. On some roofs, the water enters a roof drain, which may penetrate the cornice or parapet in a scupper, and joins the downspout on the exterior wall. The water may also enter a gutter that runs across the façade, which then joins the downspout. It is imperative that drains and gutters be cleared of debris and properly affixed to the building.

O

THE ROOF

YOUR HOME REVEALED

T

Metal flashing is typically located where two materials meet at an angle, such as where the porch roof meets the siding, at the base of the chimney, and at the roof edges. Sealing these corners prevents water infiltration. The use of tar as a sealant is discouraged, as it does not deter leaks and is very difficult to remove.

P

he roof is the most vulnerable part of the house as it bears the brunt of nature’s elements. Most rowhouses have flat roofs that slope gently toward the drain. Some of Wallabout’s older wood frame houses, like 71 Vanderbilt Avenue, have pitched roofs with the gable perpendicular to the street.

CORNICE + PARAPET The cornice performs both an aesthetic and functional purpose. Stylistically, the cornice punctuates the façade and reinforces a continuous streetscape. Most of the surviving cornices in Wallabout are constructed of wood or sheet metal. It is the cornice that helps to prevent rain and melted snow from washing down the face of the building.

N

W A L L A B O U T H O M E O W N E R ’ S P R E S E R VAT I O N M A N U A L

ALTERING THE ROOF In the case of pitched roofs that are visible from the street, changes to its covering or structure should be sensitive to the home’s historic character. It is best to replace materials inkind, or if replacing a whole roof, choose a new material that duplicates the original. Skylights and solar panels should be applied only to the rear slope of the roof. If planning a rooftop addition, its visibility from the sidewalk should be made as minimal as possible. For properties within the local historic district, changes to the roof beyond simple repair work require approval from the LPC.


PARAPET WALL

CORNICE

Pitched roofs found in Brooklyn are covered with:

N

N

DOWNSPOUT

Q R S

ASPHALT SHINGLES

 MODIFIED BITUMEN which is adhered and sealed T at the joints. A silver or white coating applied to

O P

P

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CLAY TILES

Flat (or built-up) roofs are commonly covered with:

O

FLASHING

SLATE

a flat roof helps to reflect sunlight away from the surface, minimizing heat gain

U

H4O: W HDO OWI C DA ORIECFAORRE M FO Y RH M I SYT OHRI SI CT OHROI C M EH?O M E ?

Depending on the structure, flat roofs can be ideal for GREEN SEDUM TRAY retrofits

Q

R

T

U

S

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which the wood was sawn affects the quality of the wood. Vertical-grain boards, or lumber that is quarter-sawn or riftsawn from the log so that its annual growth rings pass directly from one face of the board to another, perform better than the more common flat-grain boards in facade applications. This is because vertical-grain boards allow the wood to expand and contract more naturally, which in turn helps it hold paint better. The wood used for siding on Wallabout’s frame houses most likely was quarter-sawn or rift-sawn. For these reasons, it is preferable to retain as much original wood siding as possible.

WOOD SIDING

YOUR HOME REVEALED

A

s previously noted, much of Wallabout’s historic significance lies in its large concentration of wood frame houses. Wood is one of the oldest and most common building materials used in the United States due to its availability and workability, especially in the days before sophisticated tools. Among its positive qualities are its tensile and compressive strength and flexibility. However, wood is susceptible to attacks by insects, molds, and fungi, cracking and weathering, and destruction by fire. Wood that was harvested from virgin forests generally have superior performance compared to new wood because the trees it was milled from have narrower layers of growth rings (the layers of wood a tree grows each year), making it denser, stronger, and more resistant to decay. The manner in

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REPLACING WOOD SIDING When deciding whether to repair or replace wood siding, it is important to keep in mind the proportion of deterioratedto-sound surface and its location on the building. Generally, if more than 50 percent of a given area of wood siding is deteriorated beyond repair, replacement of the entire area is recommended. While it is best to use in-kind replacement, alternative materials might be considered as new, wide clapboards can be difficult to find. For more comprehensive information on preserving historic wood siding, see National Park Service’s online guidelines for historic buildings: www.cr.nps.gov/hps/tps/standguide/restore/restore_wood.htm


COMMON ISSUES DETERIORATION DUE TO EXPANSION + CONTRACTION This is caused by changing humidity. Wood expands as it absorbs humidity and contracts as it dries out. WARPING This occurs when one side of a board absorbs more water than the other, causing it to expand unevenly and bend the wood. Warping is especially likely to happen when wood is cut against the grain rather than parallel to it. DECAY Also known as rot, decay is caused by wood-destroying fungi, which feed on woody tissue. The tell-tale sign of decay is wood that is soft, spongy, crumbling and cracked. Most decay occurs when wood is wet repeatedly without being allowed to dry out. INSECT INFESTATION Termites, carpenter ants, and wood-boring beetles attack wood for food or nesting. This often occurs in wood that is moisture-laden.

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a veneer became popular in the last decades of the nineteenth century as technological advancements made its use more feasible.

MASONRY WALLS

YOUR HOME REVEALED

S

tone and brick are by far the most common materials found on New York rowhouse façades. In Wallabout, two types of stone masonry can be found: limestone and sandstone. Limestone can be off-white, cream or gray. The most familiar sandstone is brownstone, but it can also be orange, red, pink, or blue. (Bluestone is often used as sidewalk paving, see page 80.) Both are sedimentary rock formed of parallel layers of minerals pressed together and hardened together over time. These layers are referred to as the “grain.” Much like wood, stone veneer performs best when its grain is set horizontally. Unfortunately, most sandstone was set with its grain running vertically, or parallel to the facade. This condition does not hold up well to the effects of weathering. The use of stone as

W A L L A B O U T H O M E O W N E R ’ S P R E S E R VAT I O N M A N U A L

Brick, or baked clay, varies in color, size, and shape. Early bricks were made by hand mixing clay with sand and water and pressed into wood molds. The wet bricks were then removed to dry naturally before being placed into a kiln. Brickmaking became more standardized with machine processes in the mid-nineteenth century. Most exterior masonry brick walls are composed of two types of brick: face bricks and common bricks. Face bricks are used in the outer part of a wall because they are harder, more resistant to weathering, and have a more uniformed appearance. Common bricks tend to be more irregular so their use is more appropriate for inner wall construction. Masonry walls of all types are subject to the same sources of deterioration. Airborne particles and other pollutants from natural and industrial sources can be carried onto porous brick or stone by rainwater and can crystallize beneath the surface as the water evaporates, expanding and pushing the material apart from within. The rising and consequent expansion of iron bolts embedded in masonry can force it to crack. High sulphur-content heating fuels, when burned, create acids that etch the surface of masonry materials, pitting the masonry and roughening the texture. Brick masonry walls are formed by interlocking bricks and filling the joints with mortar. In addition to acting as an adhesive, mortar prevents water from entering the wall, levels the brick courses, and distributes weight between each course.


COMMON ISSUES WITH MASONRY WALLS

Q

Q

SPALLING Common to brownstone, bluestone, and brick, spalling occurs when water finds its way between the layers, either through open mortar joints or surface absorption, and then freezes and expands, forcing the stone apart layer by layer. Spalling can also occur with brick, causing its hard outer crust to deteriorate. PITTING It occurs in limestone when acidic rainwater converts limestone to friable gypsum.

R

SURFACE AND MORTAR EROSION Long-term physical erosion results from the constant action of wind and water.

R

DETERIORATION FROM ACIDIC COMPOUNDS Moisture in a wall from rising damp (water absorbed through capillary action from lower portions of a wall), rainwater and condensation can carry airborne particles and other pollutants onto porous brick or stone and can crystallize beneath the surface as the water evaporates, expanding and pushing the material apart from

S

within. The rising and consequent expansion of iron bolts embedded in masonry can force it to crack.

S

EFFLORESCENCE The chalky substance that sometimes appears on masonry is a milder symptom of the above issue, and can be resolved by properly sealing the source of moisture absorption.

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COMMON ISSUES WITH MASONRY WALLS CRACKS AND BULGES Many masonry walls are reinforced with iron bolts and/or anchors. These can deteriorate when exposed to moisture, causing masonry units to crack or bulge. Cracks can also occur when a building settles on its foundation. As a rule of thumb, these lines and bulges should be investigated by a licensed contractor as they can indicate a failure in the supporting structure. INSUFFICIENT MORTAR

An unnecessary coating of paint on a masonry facade is peeling.

A masonry wall may fail because an adequate amount of mortar was not applied to each course; the mortar compound is harder than the masonry unit thus not allowing the unit to expand and contract as needed; or, the mortar lacks weep holes, which does allow the water to quickly escape the masonry wall. Repointing can correct these problems (see next page). UNNECESSARY COATINGS It is often assumed that coating masonry with paints or sealants will protect it from the elements. While it does prevent moisture on the exterior from getting in, it does not allow the masonry to repel moisture from within should it be absorbed at other locations in the wall, thus deteriorating the masonry from within. Most masonry buildings were not originally painted. The decision to remove paint should be weighed against the potential harm that cleaning can inflict on the masonry. Some early 19th century rowhouses with soft brick façades were in fact painted for protection, and they should be repainted periodically. In instances where a masonry wall has been extensively patched or the masonry is severely deteriorated painting may be acceptable.

W A L L A B O U T H O M E O W N E R ’ S P R E S E R VAT I O N M A N U A L

Tinted stucco is an appropriate substitute for brownstone, which is difficult to replace in-kind. However, if possible, it is best to apply stucco in patches to deteriorated areas and not to the whole façade. The rowhouse pictured above has had stucco applied to its entire facade. The coating has cracked in many places, likely due to poor installation, and now water can infiltrate the wall.


REPOINTING Deteriorated mortar is corrected with repointing, and is necessary to prevent harmful water infiltration. The process involves removing the old mortar from the joints of a masonry wall and replacing it with new mortar. A good repointing job creates a watertight seal between the joints and should last 50 to 100 years. However, if it is not executed correctly, a building’s exterior appearance can be ruined or the masonry wall’s performance compromised. It important that the new mortar be slightly less hard and dense than the masonry unit so ABOVE: The façade of the rowhouse on the left has been repointed in an appropriate manner, contrasting sharply with its neighbor, whose mortar has severely eroded. LEFT: The old mortar has been removed to a depth of approximately 1/2” and new mortar is being applied. For stone units, this depth may be several inches.

that the wall can breathe and evaporate moisture. The LPC Rowhouse Manual offers the following additional guidelines: Mortar should be specially formulated for each job. If color additives are needed, chemically pure synthetic oxide pigments are recommended (which are alkali proof and sun fast). Lime and Portland cement should be mixed with the sand in a proportion that results in a mortar softer than the masonry being repointed. Repointing should only take place when the exterior temperature remains a constant 45 degrees or above for a 72-hour period from the commencement of the work, otherwise the mortar will not properly cure.

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ENFRAMEMENT DETERIORATION (STONE & WOOD)

Because of their projection from the building, stone and wood enframements often deteriorate from years of exposure to the elements. The removal of deteriorated elements is discouraged. Wherever possible, unsound components should be stabilized.

WORN PAINT & VARNISH (WOOD)

THE DOORWAY

YOUR HOME REVEALED

T

he doors and doorways were historically designed to make the boldest statement about a home, especially on row houses. Hints to identifying a building’s architectural style can often be found by looking at its front entrance: a Greek Revival home’s pilaster door enframement; a horizontal hood moulding or low arch on a Tudor Revival rowhouse; a heavy and richly carved door hood above the doorway to an Italianate home. Such character-defining doorway components should be left intact. When replacing doors, it is important to replicate their historic design, material and configuration as much as possible.

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Historic wood doors are typically finished with painting or varnishing, depending on the architectural style of the house. Finishing helps to maintain the integrity of the wood.

ENTRANCEWAY RELOCATION Often the conversion of a single-family row house to a multifamily one necessitated the removal of its stoop and the relocation of the parlor floor entrance to the ground level to better suit tenancy. Reconstituting an entranceway’s historic appearance generally calls for the design expertise of an architect or restoration contractor. It is important that the new design be in keeping with the architectural style of the house.


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THE WINDOW

YOUR HOME REVEALED

L

ike doorways, windows and their enframements were originally selected to harmonize with the style, scale and character of a building. The basic parts include a sash, head, sill, jamb, rail, stile, and light (glass pane). In Wallabout, a vast majority of residential windows are double-hung, meaning there is an upper and lower sash (movable panel). In historic windows, the mobility of the sash is controlled by a weight suspended on a metal chain within the window jamb.

RESTORING VS. REPLACING Historic windows are extremely durable and repairable if not allowed to deteriorate to a compromised condition. Aside from

W A L L A B O U T H O M E O W N E R ’ S P R E S E R VAT I O N M A N U A L

window glass breaking when struck by force, few window parts ever break or wear out when cared for on a routine basis. Unfortunately this fact is not widely acknowledged as windows are the most commonly replaced elements of a historic building. Homeowners are strongly encouraged to explore repair options before opting to buy new windows for a host reasons. Aside from the importance of retaining a home’s original material, windows constructed prior to 1940, on whole, have better performance and longer life spans than replacement windows. Much of this due to being constructed with old growth wood, meaning the wood was harvested from virgin forests (which no longer exist in the United States). This dense and durable wood is more resistant to decay and infestation than newer wood. In terms of energy efficiency, the combination of restoring the existing window, caulking it, adding or repairing its weatherstripping and installing a storm window can equal or surpass the energy savings of a new double-glazed window at less cost. It should also be noted that window replacement can disrupt a building’s structural cohesion, as original wood windows generally have formed a tight bond with the structure over time. When window replacement is unavoidable, it is important to replicate the window’s historic design, material and configuration as much as possible. Exterior storm windows should be as unobtrusive as possible, fitting tightly within openings without the need for panning around the perimeter, matching in color to the primary window frame, and the glass must be clear. The storm sash should be set as far back from the plane of the exterior wall surface as practicable.


WINDOW SECTION

COMMON ISSUES DETERIORATION OF THE ENFRAMEMENTURE

head

Because of their projection from the building, stone and wood enframements often deteriorate from years of

MUNTIN

exposure to the elements. The removal of deteriorated elements is discouraged. Wherever possible, unsound

LITE

components should be stabilized. Weight

INABILITY TO RAISE OR LOWER SASH This is usually due to accumulated paint on the window frame. It can also be attributed to a broken sash weight sash rail

chain.

(horizontal)

PEELING OR CRACKED PAINT OR CAULKING

stile (vertical)

This occurs as a result of moisture penetration and entrapment. While the effects of this may seem minor at first, failure to repaint and recaulk can lead to wood

jamb

decay. AIR DRAFTS AND ENERGY LOSS

Stool

Draftiness, the most common complaint associated with historic windows, can be attributed to single glazing and/

sill

or worn weatherstripping. Single-glaze (pane) windows lack the interior air gap that resists heat gain (summer) or heat loss (winter); storm windows can mitigate this as interior

exterior

can applying high-performance window films that do not distract from the home’s historic appearance.

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the flag can be reset by a contractor specializing in bluestone sidewalk repair. In instances where the flag has fractured into smaller fragments, it may be possible to reconstitute them. If replacement is the only option, homeowners can opt for new (or salvaged) bluestone flags or tinted concrete. Though new bluestone flags are three to four times more expensive than poured concrete, its longevity and beauty can justify the higher cost.

SIDEWALK VIOLATIONS

BLUESTONE SIDEWALKS

YOUR HOME REVEALED

B

efore the days of concrete, much of the city’s sidewalks were paved with large slabs of bluestone, a sedimentary rock quarried in the New York and Pennsylvania region. The sound of clicking heels when walking across its smooth surface is a quintessential Brooklyn experience. The bluish-gray stone contributes to the overall historic character of a neighborhood, especially in Wallabout, where a significant amount of original flags (or slabs) have been retained. Homeowners are encouraged to preserve existing flags whenever possible. When maintained properly, bluestone can last a lifetime, long outlasting concrete sidewalks. Over time tree roots and general erosion can upheave flags. In most cases,

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A number of homeowners in the area have received violation notices from the Department of Transportation (DOT) for defective sidewalks. Homeowners are given 45 days to hire a contractor and begin repairs. If this is not done, the DOT may perform sidewalk repair and send the bill to the homeowner. The DOT does not repair or replace bluestone flags. If a bluestone sidewalk is located within the local historic district, the DOT will not perform work. Homeowners in the local historic district must apply for a Permit for Minor Work from the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) before beginning work. The LPC does not require homeowners to replace broken bluestone flags with new bluestone. The homeowner may opt for tinted concrete. Within or without a local historic district, a Sidewalk Construction Permit must be obtained and work with tree roots must be coordinated with the Department of Parks and Recreation, both of which can be done by calling 311. Homeowners are also encouraged to contact MARP for help with their violations (718-230-1689).


RESETTING BLUESTONE A contractor who specializes in resetting bluestone flags will remove the upheaved flag to create a new level base that is layered with a special mineral screening for the flag to rest upon and fitted with hand-tight joints filled with a cement and sand mixture.

2” BLUESTONE FLAG

EXISTING CONDITIONS

1/2” SETTING BED*

HeaVED

4” BASE

DepRESSED

SUBGRADE

CURB STREET

SIDEWALK SECTION * Setting bed composed of 1 part nonstraining portland cement plus 7 parts clean sand. Brush into flag joints.

4:

HOW DO I CARE FOR MY HISTORIC HOME?

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RESEARCH TIPS

LANDMARK DESIGNATION REPORT The LPC publishes a Designation Report for every Historic District and individual Landmark. These Reports provide a thorough overview of the history and architecture of a building or neighborhoods. www.nyc.gov/html/lpc/downloads/pdf/reports/wallabout.pdf

NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES NOMINATION FORM Similar to a Designation Report, this form, which is submitted to the New York SHPO for consideration on the Register of Historic Places, documents the history and architecture of the State and/or National Historic District. The Wallabout Historic District Form was prepared by the noted architectural historian Andrew Dolkart. www.nysparks.com/shpo/online-tools (click on “Enter Document Imaging” and agree to its terms)

DEPARTMENT OF BUILDINGS (DOB) The DOB maintains an online Building Information System (BIS) where the public can access data on each block & lot in the City. Data includes building type, zoning information, Landmark status, building violations, permits (both active and closed), and more. Ideally, it will contain a New Building form (NB) as well as Alteration (Alt) forms. The NB will provide such valuable information as the names of the architect and developer, beginning date of construction, materials and other pertinent building information. Alt forms, filed subsequent to the building’s completion, provide information about changes made to a building. NB permits are not often found for older buildings (pre-1900) and certainly not prior to 1866, when the City began to keep building recordings. www.nyc.gov/html/dob/html/bis.html (be sure to enter the full street name, e.g. “avenue” not “ave”)

MUNICIPAL ARCHIVES: TAX PHOTOS In the 1940s and again in the 1980s, the City photographed every building in all five boroughs. The 1940s tax photos can be viewed on microfiche at the Municipal Archives at 31 Chambers Street in Manhattan (full instructions for locating a particular tax photo are provided to visitors) or a print can be purchased via an online form. The 1980s tax photos are viewable online. www.nyc.gov/html/records/html/taxphotos/home.shtml

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Located at 128 Pierrepont Street in Brooklyn Heights, BHS contains a treasure trove of archival documents, including historic atlases, land conveyance records, social directories, newspaper clippings, and more. The staff there is prepared to assist with house research. Be sure to check the Library hours before going. www.brooklynhistory.org/library/house_bhs.html brooklynhistory.pastperfect-online.com/ (BHS also maintains a growing digital collection of historic images)

BROOKLYN PUBLIC LIBRARY: BROOKLYN COLLECTION The Brooklyn Collection is Brooklyn Public Library’s local history division, and is located in Central Library at Grand Army Plaza. It has a rich assortment of research materials and archival documents includes maps, historic Brooklyn photographs, ephemera, prints, and the full run of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle newspaper on microfiche. Much of its collection including part of the Eagle (1841-1902) has been digitized and is viewable online. www.brooklynpubliclibrary.org/brooklyncollection

NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY: DIGITAL GALLERY The New York Public Library maintains an impressive collection of photographs, prints, and historic maps and atlases, viewable online. Especially noteworthy is its “Photographic Views of New York City, 1870s-1970s” collection (searchable by borough and street name) and its “Early Real Estate Atlases of New York” collection, which contains over 2,000 maps of New York City, including Brooklyn fire insurance maps from the 1850s-1960, showing streets, blocks, tax lots, natural and man-made features, and more. www.digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/explore

ADDITIONAL ONLINE RESOURCES: www.bklyn-genealogy-info.com

Contains a surprising amount of Brooklyn-centric primary source information

collections.mcny.org

Image archive of the Museum of the City of New York

www.davidrumsey.com

Features rare historic atlases, viewable with its online LUNA browser

W H E R E C A N I LE A R N MO R E A B O U T T H E H I STO R Y O F M Y H O U SE ?

RESEARCH TIPS

BROOKLYN HISTORICAL SOCIETY (BHS)

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MYRTLE AVENUE REVITALIZATION PROJECT LDC

WHO TO CALL

The Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project Local Development Corporation (MARP) is a not-for-profit, 501(c)3, local development corporation incorporated in January 1999 and founded with the mission to restore the “Main Street” of the Fort Greene and Clinton Hill community to a bustling, economically vital neighborhood commercial corridor that provides entrepreneurial, cultural, recreational, and employment opportunities for all those who live, work, study or have an interest in the area. Wallabout residents are strongly encouraged to contact MARP with any questions or concerns with their property or the neighborhood prior to contacting one of the agencies listed below. 472 Myrtle Avenue, 2nd Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11205 (718) 230-3674 www.myrtleavenue.org

NEW YORK STATE HISTORIC PRESERVATION OFFICE (SHPO) For questions about the State/National Historic District, including information on tax credits. Beth Cummings, SHPO representative for Kings County (518) 237-8643 ext. 3282 www.nysparks.com/shpo

NYC LANDMARKS PRESERVATION COMMISSION For questions about local landmarks and historic districts, including alterations, permits, violations, public hearings, and its low interest loan program. Municipal Building, 1 Centre Street, 9th Floor, Manhattan (212) 669-7817 www.nyc.gov/html/lpc/html/home/home.shtml

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NEW YORK LANDMARKS CONSERVANCY For general questions about historic preservation in New York City, including a list of approved licensed contractors and

1 Whitehall Street, Manhattan (212) 995-5260 www.nylandmarks.org

DEPARTMENT OF BUILDINGS (DOB) For questions about filing a permit with the DOB or checking the status of one in the borough of Brooklyn. 210 Joralemon Street, 8th Floor, Brooklyn (718) 802-3675 www.nyc.gov/html/dob/html/home/home.shtml

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (DOB) For questions about sidewalk repair or violations. Call 311 or www.nyc.gov/apps/311 http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/faqs/sidewalkfaqs.shtml

DEPARTMENT OF PARKS & RECREATION (DPR) For questions about tree care, including root removal and pruning of street trees. Residents are advised NOT to undertake branch or root trimming.

WHO TO CALL

information on its low interest loan and easement programs.

Call 311 or www.nyc.gov/apps/311 www.nycgovparks.org/services/forestry

WHO DO I CALL?

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Wallabout Homeowner's Preservation Manual  

A homeowner's guide to understanding historic district designation and tips for caring for their historic property, including procedures for...

Wallabout Homeowner's Preservation Manual  

A homeowner's guide to understanding historic district designation and tips for caring for their historic property, including procedures for...

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