51 Macdougal Street

About this project

This project received a Certificate of Appropriateness from the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission.  51 Macdougal Street was originally erected in 1846-1847 as an interior mid-block row house building.  The adjacent property that was formerly at 53-59 Macdougal Street once had a 6-story brick building that was demolished during the 1930s widening of Houston Street.  This demolition left the remaining 51 Macdougal with an exposed secondary façade that deteriorated in subsequent years, since it was not originally intended to be exposed.

The existing brick and stone masonry had been painted over and was cracked and spalled in several places.  The existing windows were a mishmash of poor-quality replacements installed at different times over many decades, and their functionality was suspect at best.  In addition, the existing storefront alterations were historically insensitive, and since the building did not front West Houston Street when originally built, the north façade neither addressed this major thoroughfare in any way, nor did it have any presence at the rear yard portion.

ABA restored the primary façade on Macdougal Street, removing all paint, replacing all lintels, sills, and windows with historically appropriate double-hung wood windows, and restoring the cornice.  The storefront was reconstructed using historical photos.  The secondary façade facing East Houston was entirely rebuilt from the ground up using historical bricks and historically appropriate fenestration.  On the interior, all floors were entirely gutted, and joist framing was replaced.  Our office designed four high-end rental apartments with retail on the ground floor and cellar.  We created a new 2-story addition at the rear yard with a new retail storefront presence on East Houston to complement the restoration on the Macdougal facade, thus repairing the disrupted urban fabric caused by the East Houston Street widening project nearly 100 years ago.

Date:  March 7, 2023
Skills:  Commercial, Enlargements, Residential, Restorations