After being on a backlogged list of properties for almost 50 years, Gravesend’s historic Lady Moody House might finally get its long-sought-after landmark status from the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC).
Dating back to the 1660s, the privately-owned home at 27 Gravesend Neck Road stands on property that was once owned by Lady Deborah Moody—credited with establishing the community known today as Gravesend, one of old Brooklyn’s six towns, and the only one that wasn’t Dutch. Moody was one of the first women ever to own a land patent in the New World.
LPC announced on Tuesday, April 23, that the Lady Moody House, also known as the Lady Moody-Van Sicklen House, was to be prioritized for landmark consideration.
“I’m pleased that the Landmarks Commission has decided to rescue the Lady Moody House from an uncertain future and prevent yet another precious piece of our history from slipping away,” said Assemblymember Steven Cymbrowitz, who chairs the Assembly’s Aging Committee and who penned a letter to LPC last fall about the importance of the house. “Buildings like the Lady Moody House are our city’s ‘senior’ structures. They too are a window on the past, reminding us of what the world, and in this case the community of Gravesend, looked like long before we were alive.”
According to Simeon Bankoff, executive director of the Historic Districts Council, when LPC prioritizes a property, “They are saying that they will be holding a public meeting or making a decision about whether or not to landmark it before the end of 2016.
“We are thrilled,” said Bankoff. “We have long sought the preservation of the Lady Moody House and we are very, very pleased that the Landmarks Preservation Commission is making this move towards helping preserve this important part of New York City heritage.”
LPC held a public hearing on the backlogged Brooklyn buildings back in October of 2015. There, speakers were able to give specific comments about backlogged properties in the borough. After the hearing, LPC reviewed the information, announcing the properties to be prioritized in February. The properties under review must go through another round of hearings before the final vote in December.
“As the City’s expert body on historic preservation, the Commission has spent months analyzing testimony and conducting further research on these items,” said Landmarks Commission Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan after prioritized buildings were announced. “Our actions represent an important step in addressing this backlog. While challenging, I believe it was very much needed – the Commission’s designation process should be open, fair and reasonable, and this is a necessary step to achieve that goal. I am pleased that with significant public input, the Commission has identified 30 items which we will advance towards designation in 2016.”
“The Lady Moody House is one of the most historically significant structures in southern Brooklyn,” Councilmember Mark Treyger said in October. “The structure’s mere presence acts a constant reminder to residents of the area that there is culture and history in southern Brooklyn, too.”
The Moody House was first considered for landmarks designation in 1966; the nearby Old Gravesend Cemetery was designated a landmark in 1976.