Crown Heights’ historic Elkins House is being honored by the New York Landmarks Conservancy with the 2019 Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award for excellence in preservation.
The annual award is the Conservancy’s highest honor and recognizes individuals, organizations and building owners for their extraordinary contributions to the city.
The Landmarks Conservancy selected the George B. and Susan Elkins House, located at 1375 Dean Street, for its stunning transformation. The wood-frame, free-standing villa is one of Crown Heights’ earliest houses. Built in the 1850s, it was once vacant and on the verge of demolition. Years of abandonment left the structure severely dilapidated.
The Crown Heights North Association and concerned neighbors rallied to have the Landmarks Preservation Commission designate it as an individual landmark. Yet, this did not stop the neglect, and the house continued to deteriorate. The downward spiral ended when the LPC and the buildings department intervened and issued violations.
Developer Amber Mazor purchased the property and collaborated with nc2 Architecture to salvage the historic building fabric. The original porch columns and roof, some clapboards, attic windows, the cornice, entrance surround and window casings were all restored, using the building’s original wood and stones. Missing components were recreated based on historic photos.
Today, after extensive restoration, the Elkins Villa houses contemporary apartments and is once again a centerpiece of the neighborhood, the Conservancy said.
“The Lucys are a joyous celebration of great preservation work and great preservation leaders,” said Peg Breen, president of The New York Landmarks Conservancy. “It’s a wonderful and, often moving, look at why historic homes and institutions mean so much to us.”
Three other central Brooklyn projects are being recognized by the Landmarks Conservancy this year: 39 Clifton Place, a mixed-use space in the heart of Clinton Hill’s historic district; the 1908 George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School in Fort Greene, a limestone-and-brick school complex built in English Collegiate style; and Prospect Park’s Wellhouse, a gothic, Queen Anne-inspired historic building designed by famed Prospect Park architects Olmsted and Vaux.