UPPER RIVERSIDE RESIDENTS ALLIANCE ADVISORS
MICHAEL HENRY ADAMS
VALERY JO BRADLEY
Read more about Christabel Gough in CURBED.
December 27, 2021
Do As I Say,
Not As I Do?
Like 227 Duffield Street, 857 Riverside Drive has indeed been much altered architecturally, its small wooden porch and cupola dismantled, its front covered with siding. Its original appearance is fully documented in a lovely photograph by Berenice Abbott, recently reproduced in The New York Times, as part of an extended study by John Freeman Gill.
Abbott had been chosen to record the distinguished old buildings of New York City by the WPA Federal Art Project during the Depression, leading to her celebrated photographic study, Changing New York.
There was no Landmarks Commission then. Exterior restoration of 857 would be feasible, the photograph provides documentation, reconstruction of its wooden decorative elements would not be technically difficult or particularly costly, nor is removing fake siding unusual or problematic.
Similar projects in historic districts are routinely approved at staff level by the LPC. Research in support of designation has been submitted by historians Matthew Spady and Joseph V. Amodio.