The years-long saga of Chelsea's Hopper-Gibbons House took a step forward?sort of?today, as the city's Board of Standards and Appeals denied its owner the right to keep an illegal addition... but didn't order it be taken down, either. Owner Tony Mamounas started to erect the top-floor extension in 2005; the building was declared a landmark in 2010; and now he must appear in front of the Landmarks Preservation Commission to await further instruction on what to do.
The embattled red-brick townhouse is New York's only surviving stop on the Underground Railroad, which helped shuttle escaped slaves to freedom. Despite its historic value, it's not just preservationists, but also neighborhood residents and local politicians, who hope that Mamounas is ultimately ordered to take off the scaffolding-enveloped fifth-floor eyesore and restore the unit to its former four-story, Greek revival glory. Mamounas, unfortunately, doesn't seem like the type to take initiative, so it's up to the LPC to make him act.
· Underground Railroad House Owner Loses Appeal to Keep Rooftop Addition [DNAinfo]
· Hopper-Gibbons House coverage [Curbed]