On August 18, 1970, the Landmarks Preservation Commission designated landmark status to the grand Greek Revival house at 37 East 4th Street. The house was built in 1844-45 by Samuel Tredwell Skidmore, a relative of Seabury Tredwell, who lived with his family a few doors away at 29 East 4th Street, known today as the Merchant’s House Museum. The Skidmore house was also listed to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.
Both the Skidmore house and the Merchant’s House Museum are the last surviving remnants of the once numerous residences on this block. This neighborhood went through changes from commercial and industrial to residential over time, but at one point in the mid 1800’s was a very fashionable place to live.
According to the designation report of the LPC:
No. 37, built in 1844-45, is unusually impressive… a deep house, occupying a larger than usual portion of the lot. A high stoop, over a stone basement which still retains traces of rustication, leads to a handsome doorway with full entablature supported by a pair of Ionic columns, a typically Greek Revival feature. The Inner doorway, behind paneled reveals, is flanked by blocked-up sidelights, set between square pilasters. A three-paned transom crowns the doorway. Traces of a delicate carved molding, which once surrounded the transom, are still visible. Vestiges of the cap moldings, which originally surmounted the window lintels, remain above the windows of the third story. Six-over-six window sash is still in place at the third story, and the low attic windows and simple wood roof cornice, with fascia below, are likewise features of the Greek Revival style.
At the time the Skidmore house was designated, there were plans for restoration. But over the following years, the house was neglected and fell into disrepair. You can read more about that here.
Today the restored house is no longer a single-family residence, and is abutted by a large apartment building. But thanks to landmark designation it did avoid demolition, is now restored and well-preserved. The house is an important piece of NoHo history, built long before the term “NoHo” was ever coined.
Want to know more about NoHo’s history? Click here.
Want to access more designation reports for landmarks in the Village, East Village, and NoHo? Click here.