The Stafford “Osborn” House Is Worthy of Landmark Designation

Testimony to the New York City Council Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Siting, and Maritime Uses

February 6, 2018

The Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS) supports the designation of the Stafford “Osborn” House as an individual New York City Landmark. The Craftsman style bungalow from Sears, Roebuck and Company is a stunningly well-preserved example of the “Osborn” house model advertised by Sears between 1916 and 1929.

Although Sears sold approximately 50,000 homes in 400 different styles between 1908 and 1940, this particular home is an authentic intact example of the model that would symbolize the suburban-style residential development that occurred in New York City and across the rest of the nation during the 20th century.

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Stafford “Osborn” House

The house was constructed in 1930 for the family of yacht captain John H. Stafford and is recognizable by its front and side porches, low-pitched, cross-gabled roof, and its deeply overhanging eaves with exposed rafter ends.

In addition to the home itself, the Staffords also purchased a garage from Sears that sits to the rear of the main structure. Designation of this well-preserved early 20th Craftsman style bungalow would be a testament to the history of mail-order homes and the beginnings of suburbanization in the New York area.

We believe this building warrants protection. To preserve the Stafford “Osborn” House, MAS recommends that the City Council approve the designation of 95 Pell Street as an individual NYC Landmark.

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