Although its listing pictures don't paint it as much, the small detached one-family home at 27 Gravesend Neck Road has quite the history. At about 355 years old, the house nestled between VanSicklen Street and McDonald Avenue in Gravesend dates back to the same period as other beloved well-known early New Amsterdam houses, but has gone without much fanfare because it has never secured landmark designation. Now, the historic house is for sale for a mere $869,000 (h/t Gothamist) and is, it appears, looking for someone to bring it back to life.
These days, the property is known as Lady Moody's House, although the Historic Districts Council notes that this is a misnomer. According to HDC, the property belonged to John Van Sicklen but was listed in an 1890s real estate stunt as the property of Gravesend founder Lady Deborah Moody, the first female settler who was also a land owner in the New World.
Some historians debate the originality of parts of the house. Gravesend historian and New York Public Library reference librarian Joseph Ditta expounded on that to Bensonhurst Bean,
While it is entirely possible that some portion of the structure dates back to the 17th century, the shape we see today is of a house from the early-to-mid-18th century built in the style commonly called "Dutch Colonial." (The problem with the term "Dutch Colonial" is that most houses built in this style were erected after New Amsterdam became New York, and after the American Colonies became the United States. But names stick.) Ditta follows up by noting that, despite the considerable alterations to the property, a few of the other surviving Dutch Colonial houses have gained landmarks designation "solely for their historical associations."
The house's lack of landmark status wasn't a concern for its former owner, Vivian Solmo, who told Brooklyn Eagle that she feared she would never sell the property if it did gain designation. Solmo eventually sold the pad for $610,000 to Anita and Justin Anderson in 2005, who are now seeking to unload it.
The property has been calendared for landmarks consideration since 1966 (!!!), but that may soon change. The Landmarks Preservation Commission will hold a public hearing on October 8 that will help determine if the property deserves to be a landmark.
· Brooklyn's Historic "Lady Moody" House Is On The Market [Gothamist]
· Listing: 27 Gravesend Neck Road [Zillow]
· Why Lady Moody's House Must Be Saved [BB]
· Tour New York's Oldest Home, a Pastoral Oasis For 360 Years [Curbed]
· That's Rather Historical archives [Curbed]