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Happy “Landmark” Birthday, 203 Prince Street!

From GVSHP’s South Village survey.

Today we’d like to wish 203 Prince Street a happy “landmark” birthday. On this day 41 years ago, in 1974, the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) designated 203 Prince Street an individual landmark.

The building is located in the South Village, a neighborhood you can learn more about on our Preservation page.

203 Prince - doorway
From GVSHP’s South Village survey.

The construction of this charming building was completed in 1834. In its designation report, the LPC called this transitional Federal/Greek Revival style rowhouse a rare surviving example of its type. The house was originally 2 1/2-stories tall (with dormers) before a third story and cornice were added in 1888.  You can actually see the change in brick color above the second floor in the picture above, indicating where the original building ends and the 1888 addition begins. You can also see that the bricks from original floors are laid in Flemish bond, a pattern popular in the Federal era where the long (“stretcher”) and short (“header”) sides of the bricks alternate. The bricks on the third floor addition are laid in what is called “common bond,” a pattern consisting of stretchers only. While this bond was used in the time period when the house was constructed, it gained in popularity over the course of the century as a more cost and labor effective option.

The land on which 203 Prince Street was built had once been part of Richmond Hill, the Aaron Burr estate that also covered a good part of present day Greenwich Village.  Another, even older Federal style house which GVSHP tried to save from the wrecking ball just around the corner at 54 MacDougal Street was also built on land which was part of the Richmond Hill Estate; you can read more about the history of that house (sadly since demolished) here.

Check out the designation report for 203 Prince Street on our Resources page to learn more about its elegant Federal doorway and other great tidbits about this beautiful South Village landmark.  You can access the designation report of any individual landmark or any historic district in our neighborhoods on our resources page here.

And if you want to learn more about other Federal style houses in Lower Manhattan, both landmarked and not, check out our Federal Houses webpage on the GVSHP website.

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