43 MacDougal Street: A Happy Ending At Last?
Five years ago we wrote about the terrible, deteriorating conditions at 43 MacDougal Street, a landmarked, 1846 Greek Revival townhouse at the corner of King Street in the King-Charlton-VanDam Historic District. The building had been neglected to the point of near-abandonment for over a decade.
With a rainy week ahead, we were worried the historic structure might not survive, as it was unsealed and had suffered for years not just from the elements but from homeless encampments within and without.
A few days later, we found out things were even worse than we thought.
Neighbors of the building had to deal with garbage, smell, rodents, penetrating leaks, and the fear that the buildings might collapse. For years, GVSHP pushed both the absentee owner and the City to take action to save the deteriorating landmark, including calling for a “demolition by neglect” suit.
Who says there are no happy endings?
Five years later, a new owner has made an earnest and diligent effort to restore the building. In the spring of 2014 he filed an application with the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) to restore the building and modestly expand the attic floor (which was too low to accommodate residential occupancy). GVSHP strongly supported the application and the LPC approved it.
Work has been moving along steadily over the intervening months, and on a swing by recently we saw the scaffolding had been largely removed, and the beautifully restored historic façade was, for the first time in years, revealed. The only exterior work remaining is completion of the renovation of the ground floor, which will become an active storefront again with restoration of its Greek Revival details.
We can’t wait for the ribbon-cutting!