NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission Designation Report on St. John's Episcopal Church's Rectory

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ST. JOHN’S P.E. CHURCH RECTORY, 1333 Bay Street (aka 1333 -1337 Bay Street), Staten Island.

Built: 1881-1882; Builder: John W. Winmill.

Landmark Site: Borough of Staten Island, Tax Map Block 2832, Lot 12.

On September 13, 1966, the Landmarks Preservation Commission held a public hearing on the proposed designation of St. John’s P.E. Church Rectory and the proposed designation of the related Landmark Site (Item No. 64). The hearing had been duly advertised in accordance with the provisions of the law. Representatives from the Municipal Art Society of New York and American Institute of Architects spoke in favour of designation of all three buildings within the church complex. The public hearing was continued on October 11, 1966 (Item No. 10) at which time no one spoke. The public hearing was continued again on November 10, 1966 (Item No. 21). At the hearing, one individual spoke in favour of designation. On October 22, 2015, the Landmarks Preservation Commission held a special public hearing on the proposed designation of St. John’s P.E. Church Rectory and the proposed designation of the related Landmark Site (Item No. I—Borough of Staten Island Group I, F). The hearing had been duly advertised in accordance with the provisions of the law. The Commission received written support from the Reverend Roy A. Cole, acting as a representative of the church. Five people spoke in favour of designation, including representatives of the Historic Districts Council and the New York Landmarks Conservancy. The Commission also received written submissions expressing support for designation from the Alice Austen House and the Municipal Art Society.



Summary

Prominently located on Bay Street in Clifton, Staten Island, St. John’s Protestant Episcopal Church Rectory is an excellent example of an early free-standing Queen Anne style residence. An offshoot of St. Andrew’s Church in Richmond, Staten Island, St. John’s Church was formally organized on September 23, 1843, at the home of William B. Townsend, to serve the needs of the Protestant Episcopal worshipers in the area of Clifton. For approximately 37 years, the Reverend John C. Eccleston served as the rector of St. John’s Church. Under his leadership, St. John’s Church grew in prestige and the new church and rectory were constructed. The rectory, located to the south of the church, was built for the Reverend Eccleston from 1881- 1882 by the builder John W. Winmill. The land was donated to the church by the warden and publisher John A. Appleton.

True to the Queen Anne style, the house features an asymmetrical plan and three-dimensional facades achieved through the combination of protruding gables, bay windows, and a recessed front porch and entrance. The house’s highly textured surface is also characteristic of the Queen Anne style and consists of a rough-faced ashlar stone base with upper floors that feature vertical siding, half-timbering, and scalloped shingles. The picturesque qualities of the Queen Anne style and the house’s granite base, an unusual feature among Staten Island’s Queen Anne style houses, complement St. John's Protestant Episcopal Church, a New York City Landmark, which was built from 1869-71 and was designed by the prominent architect, Arthur D. Gilman.

BUILDING DESCRIPTION

Built from 1881-1882, St. John’s Rectory is a two-and-a-half story free-standing Queen Anne style residence. The house’s main entrance is on its southwest façade, which faces Bay Street. The house features a rough-faced ashlar stone base, while the upper stories feature a combination of vertical siding, half-timbering, and shingles. The stone appears to match the granite that was used in the construction of the church (1869-1871) and the chapel (c. 1885, now demolished), which was described in a newspaper article at the time of the church’s construction as pink granite from Lyme, Connecticut.

The house features a small basement and first-story rear addition that bisects the original full-length rear porch. The addition, which was added in 1920, was designed to accommodate a kitchen on the first floor of the house and was subsequently reduced in size at some point between 2002 and 2009. With the exception of the northwest bay window and rear addition, the first- and second-story windows of the house feature historic wooden multi-light upper sashes over single-pane lower sashes. The house’s basement and attic windows have all been replaced and storm windows are present throughout the house.

Bay Street (Southwest) facade

Historic: Three-bay façade featuring two two-and-a-half-story gabled bays; westernmost gable features a two-story rectangular bay with a hipped roof and a modillion cornice; multi-pane transom windows in bay; scalloped shingles above the first story with vertical siding and applied stickwork above the attic windows of the westernmost gable; overhanging central gable above the house’s recessed front entry porch features vertical siding with applied stickwork above the first story and scalloped shingles in the upper portion of the gable; scalloped shingles at second story on the easternmost side of the facade.

Alterations: Woodwork of front entry porch replaced in a manner that is reminiscent of the original porch; floor of porch resurfaced in concrete; double-leaf wood-and-glass door with 3 multi-pane windows and transom replaced with double-leaf wood-and-glass door of a similar configuration; double-leaf wood-and-glass storm door with single-pane glass transom added; iron railing added to front steps; electrical boxes at basement window.

Northwest facade

Historic: Gable features one-and-a-half-story bay window with hipped roof; scalloped shingles above the first story with vertical siding and applied stickwork above the attic windows of the gable; stone and corbelled brick chimney is prominently featured between two second-story windows; memorial plaque.

Alterations: Stained-glass windows in bay replaced with diamond pane windows prior to 1967; portion of stone base replaced with brick; pipes; electrical boxes.

Northeast (Rear) facade

Historic: Two steeply pitched gables either side of a dormer window; area surrounding