A pre-Civil War residential structure in Brooklyn will be getting the tender love and care it very much needs. On Tuesday, the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved a proposal to reconstruct the façade of 17 Fillmore Place, located in the small Fillmore Place Historic District.
The building in question sits Roebling Street and Driggs Avenue in Williamsburg. Italianate in style, it was built around 1853, and fell under the commission’s jurisdiction when the district was designated in 2009. The LPC does not have a record of who designed it. It is currently a multi-family walk-up. Over the years, a fire escape was added and deterioration has occurred on the façade, some of it due to the weight of that fire escape. At some points, the brick has become set back from the building’s neighbors. At other points, it juts forward.
Now, the plan is to remove the fire escape, and the façade behind it. Existing brick will be salvaged and reused. New prefabricated lintels will be installed, as will new windows. The stoop steps will be refinished. An existing grill will be removed from the areaway and replaced with a fence. The front door will be replaced.
The owner, David Barlow, had planned to replace the wood cornice, but after discussions with the staff of the LPC’s preservation department, the existing cornice will be retained.
Brooklyn Community Board 1 had no objection to the proposal, and the Historic Districts Council was generally supportive.
“HDC’s Public Review Committee finds the overall intent of this scheme to be acceptable, but has serious concerns about its proposed execution,” testified HDC’s Barbara Zay. “The wall section and brick replacement assembly should be studied further, especially concerning the use of corrugated galvanized metal ties. Our committee felt that the applicant should investigate replicating the blind header condition instead, and that the precast brownstone lintels and sills should be carefully planned to ensure the dimensions are just right.”
In the end, the commissioners approved the proposal, unanimously and with little discussion. LPC Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan suggested the applicant work with LPC staff on the details of the reconstruction and that was approved.
View the presentation slides below: