The historic house is razed before the preservation committee finishes its work


The historic house is razed before the preservation committee finishes its work

Despite a discovery by a prominent architectural historian that a 1920s Tudor house designed by W. Stanwood Phillips was worth preserving under current Scarsdale code, the house was virtually demolished.

A request to shave the house at 41 Hampton Road was considered at the June 29 and July 27, 2021 meetings of the Historic Preservation Committee. After the June meeting, the Committee for Historic Preservation sought the advice of architectural historian Andrew Dolkart, who concluded that the house deserved to be preserved.

In his opinion, he noted:

“The most talented architects working in revival styles, especially medieval inspired styles, have often provided details that make the house look centuries old and weathered over time. or that it was built with primitive technologies. He says, 41 Hampton Road shows this in “the irregular texture of the heavy slates of the roof, in the carefully grooved woodwork that Phillips specifically noted on his elevation drawings, in the turned and squared, medieval balusters, in the stylized detail of the spandrels, keystone and lintel of the entrance arch, in gable overhangs with drip pendants, etc.

He also observes that the house has retained its architectural integrity to a very high degree as “the windows, slate roof, woodwork, masonry and other elements of the building all appear to be original.”

His criteria for deciding that the house deserved to be preserved were as follows:

1. The house is the work of a master as designed by architect W. Stanwood Phillips, a renowned architect who was “closely involved in creating the character of the village.”

2. The house is the “quintessential home in Scarsdale” and is part of the “quintessential home”large diagram of the history of Scarsdale. “

3. The house embodies the “distinctive features of an English Tudor Revival style home “and uses the style” in an extremely creative way to create a fine example of the suburban middle class architecture that sets Scarsdale apart.

Due to two committee members not attending the July 27 meeting, Chairman Adam Lindenbaum postponed a decision until the full committee could be present the following month. The request was again adjourned to the next committee meeting on September 28. (There was no meeting at 41HamptonDemolitionThe BAR authorized the demolition of 50% of the house.August.)

However, the applicants did not wait for a decision from the Historic Preservation Committee before asking the Board of Architectural Review to demolish much of the house. On August 23, then-owner Stewart Hung obtained approval for what was called a “front addition” to the house. The documents show that the BAR approved the demolition of 50% of the structure and the removal of “stucco beams and bricks,” the distinguishing features listed in historian Dolkart’s note. The Board of Architectural Review has approved architect Miguel Sostre’s plans to build a 9,500 square foot house that bears no resemblance to the original historic structure.

This week, Brite Avenue Development, owned by Eilon Amidor, demolished much of the house, driveway, windows, masonry and more. Brite Avenue Development is now listed as the owner of the house.

It is not clear why the Board of Architectural Review (BAR) reviewed and approved the demolition while the preservation request was still pending before the Committee for Historic Preservation and likely to justify preservation. Curiously, the request for the demolition of the house to the Committee for Historic Preservation continues to appear on the monthly calendars and has been marked “Adjourned” on September 28 and October 26, 2021.

On November 4, the Committee for Historic Preservation released the agenda for its November 30, 2021 meeting and the applicant is now applying to “Demolish the remaining 59% of the house with garage built in 1930.

In granting the developer permission to demolish 50% of the historic house, did the Board of Architectural Review consider the preservation of the historic elements of the house, its facade, its grand entrance and the elements that Dolkart listed in its note? Has anyone from the Board of Architectural Review spoken to the members of the Committee for Historic Preservation committee?



(Before and after: According to the CHP, they only destroyed 41% of the original house.)

From the property record, it appears the building department was well aware of the developer’s plans as they authorized the removal of 14 trees on September 8, 2021 and approved a ‘front addition, a new circular driveway. and a stormwater management system ”on October 16, 2021.

41HamptonNew elevationThe BAR approved the construction of a 9,500 square foot house. The shaded part on the right is the vestige of the existing structure.

It would be nice to better understand what happened. Can simultaneous candidatures be submitted to both committees? Does the village need to revise its procedures for submitting an application to the Historic Preservation Committee and the Architectural Review Board? What does it mean to preserve a historic house? Should we save the facade? And the architectural details?

We emailed our questions to Frank Diodati who heads the construction department, the chairman of the architectural review committee, the CHP members, the village director and the mayor and received no response.

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