December 2017
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MAS Position on 4927 Arthur Kill Road, Staten Island

Calendared in the 1960s, the time has now come to move forward with the designation of 4927 Arthur Kill Road — a Greek Revival house — so as to insure that any future changes are done under the guidance of the LPC’s regulations.

Staten Island witnessed tremendous growth during the mid-nineteenth century as it became the preferred location for the development of rural homesteads. Leng & Davis’ Staten Island and Its People notes that the Abram Cole family began construction of a Greek Revival home in the 1840s on this property, which was originally beachfront. The form of the house today reflects the later addition (completed by 1912) of two wings to the original two-and-a-half-story, two-bay gabled farmhouse. 4927 Arthur Kill Road today illustrates the history and occupations of members of this Staten Island community. Abraham Cole’s descendent, Captain Abram Cole, was a coal and lumber merchant, which were important industrial professions in the maritime-centered region, and also served as a local politician and town supervisor.

As many of the other buildings from this time have disappeared in this area of Staten Island, the Cole House, which was owned by members of the extended Cole family until the 1970s, has retained its pre-1912 design features and pastoral context. The western façade incurred a moderate level of damage in a more recent fire and in the past five years the current owners have replaced portions of the original fabric. Nonetheless, enough of the building remains, including the street (or eastern) façade, and documentation exists that the building could be restored if an owner should choose to do so. We urge the LPC to designate this Greek Revival House so as to protect its remaining historic features and ensure that further work is restorative in nature.