Bad news for anyone who cares about old houses: A permit was filed this week to tear down the old freestanding wood house at 96 Lefferts Place in Clinton Hill. (“HEREWITH TO PROPOSE FULL DEMOLITION OF BUILDING, USING MECHANICAL MEANS, reads the job description.) We first mentioned this as a possibility back in 2007 when we were writing about the efforts of the owner of 70 Lefferts Place to tear down that historic structure and replace it with a 25-unit building. As we all know, that effort was stymied by some last-minute landmarking. It appears that there may be no such deus ex machina to save the day for Number 96, the second-oldest house on the block. The two-family house traded hands last May for a mere $810,000. We’re surprised we haven’t heard any noise from residents of Lefferts Place, who have been known to fight hard to preserve their slice of Old New York. Given that the 59-by-123-foot lot comes with the right to put up a 14,392-square-foot building, this’ll be a game-changer (in a bad way) for this neck of the woods. Chances of this not being ugly? De minimis.
UPDATE: A reader just sent in this excerpt from the US Department of the Interior, National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination Form, regarding the Clinton Hill South Historic District of which this block of Lefferts Place forms a part:
Stylistically and chronologically the earliest buildings in the historic district are three houses with Greek Revival detail [including] the large mansion at 96 Lefferts Place … . Although it has had its window enframements removed and has been clad with aluminium siding, the large house at 96 Lefferts Place retains its Greek Revival form. The rectangular flat-roofed building has an austere entrance with a paneled front door flanked by stylized pilasters and topped by a transom. A Doric-columned porch runs in front of the entrance and the attic level is lit by small rectangular windows.