One Step Closer to Landmark Status!


This cyanotype, taken in June 1893, is possibly the oldest known photograph of the Moody House at 27 Gravesend Neck Road. The view is looking east toward present-day McDonald Avenue. Note the tower of the soon-to-be-demolished Gravesend Reformed Dutch Church in the background. {Collection of Joseph Ditta}

Excellent news! The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission held a public meeting today to deal with its backlog of 95 properties; some buildings — like Gravesend’s Lady Moody – Van Sicklen House — have languished there for fifty years. The Commission decided to keep the Moody House on its calendar and prioritize it for designation by the end of 2016. So, the house is not yet an official landmark, but it has moved one giant step closer to that reality. If, instead, the Commission had voted to drop the house from its calendar, well . . . I shudder to finish that sentence! To think about it another way, of the 95 properties under consideration, only 30 are being pushed forward for designation. We made it! (Click here for a full list of the day’s decisions)

I send heartfelt thanks to everyone who took time to write the Commission (at the meeting they said the Moody House generated quite a lot of interest from the Gravesend community!), and to those who spoke at the hearing last October, especially Mark Treyger, our tireless councilman, whose continued support for designation of this unique building speaks louder than all of our pleas combined.

Stay tuned . . .

Copyright © 2016 by Joseph Ditta (


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