A modern row house has taken the place of a deteriorating 19th century wood-frame dwelling in Clinton Hill.
With its stylized board-and-batten style siding the house at 476 Washington Avenue was designed by NV.Design.Architecture as a modern transition between the buildings of an existing row in the Clinton Hill Historic District.
By the time the district was designated in 1981 the once charming circa early 1870s frame house depicted in a historic tax photo at No. 476 , had been stripped of most of its architectural detail and sided with aluminum. After the designation, neglect and illegal work, including the removal of windows without a Landmarks Preservation Commission permit, took their toll on the house. When Brownstoner featured a listing for the house in 2007, the windows were boarded up and the facade graffitied.
LPC considered the proposal to demolish the house and replace it with a modern four-story building in 2016 and found, according to the Certificate of Appropriateness issued for the project, that the historic structure had been heavily altered and was “in an advanced state of deterioration” that compromised the structural integrity of the building.
The new facade of cedar and tinted zinc was unveiled this year. When viewed while strolling toward the block, the new facade seems to echo the rhythm of the bays in the adjacent brownstones. The modern materials are meant, according to the LPC, to “recall the materiality of the original wood-framed building” and the slotted parapet is a contemporary nod to the adjacent bracketed cornices.
While the building lacks a stoop, its front garden setback matches that of the adjacent row. The garden-level entrance is covered in zinc.
The building, which does not yet appear to have a certificate of occupancy, has a total of four two-bedroom condo units.
[Photos by Susan De Vries]
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