VAN CORTLANDT HOUSE MUSEUM ARCHITECTURAL CONTEXT FOR HISTORIC STRUCTURE REPORT The Bronx, Bronx County, New York Client:  Historic House Trust of             New York City Team:  Larson Fisher Associates for             Jan Hird Pokorny Associates Date:    September 2006   The Van Cortlandt House was constructed in 1748 and survives virtually intact as a rare example of elite architecture in 18th-century New York.  Built for Frederick Van Cortlandt on a plantation known as Lower Yonkers it is an amalgam of English and Dutch construction methods and decorative tastes that exemplifies the cultural blending occurring at the highest levels of Colonial society.  A historic house museum since 1896, this is the first HSR to be prepared for the house.  LFA provided a detailed analysis of the architectural and historical background of this important house. WRIGHT REIS HOMESTEAD HISTORIC STRUCTURE REPORT Somers, Westchester County, NY  Client:  Town of Somers   Team:  Neil Larson with Walter R. Wheeler,                architect  Date:   July 2007  Built in the c. 1853, the Wright Reis  Homestead has been owned by the Town of  Somers since 1972 when the last member  of the family died.  The house is an intact  and distinctive example of Greek Revival farmhouse architecture in the region retaining  many of its original interior finishes and all the family furnishings.  Operated by the Somers  Historical Society as a historic house museum, there has been a growing need to improve  the documentation of the house and farm buildings so that formal preservation measures  can be implemented.  LFA is working with the town on a multi-phase project to accomplish  this task.  Funding for the first phase, focusing on the house, has been helped by a  Preserve New York grant from the Preservation League of New York State.   EZEKIEL ELTING HOUSE HISTORIC STRUCTURE REPORT   New Paltz, Ulster County, New York Client:  Huguenot Historical Society,             New Paltz, NY Team:   LFA with Crawford & Stearns,              Architects, Syracuse, NY Date:    September 2006   Built in 1799, the Ezekiel Elting House was one of the first houses built after the Revolutionary War in the old Huguenot village of New Paltz, and it illustrates the process by which the regional stone architecture began to accommodate more contemporary and generalized house forms and decorative styles.  Ezekiel Elting was a merchant, and he incorporated shop and warehouse space into the plan of the house.  This created an unusual pattern of spaces behind the otherwise orderly street facade.  Yet, looks are deceiving.  The house had the town's only gambrel roof until the 1870s when Victorian changes, since removed, were made.  Efforts to restore the house to a more Federal Period appearance in the 20th century have removed and obscured evidence of earlier stages.  Neil Larson and Ted Bartlett have gone great lengths to recover physical and documentary evidence of the original conditions. ISRAEL & JAMES CRANE HOUSE EXISTING CONDITIONS REPORT Montclair, Essex County, New Jersey Client:   Montclair Historical Society,              Montclair, NJ Team:   Neil Larson Date:    April 2005 The Montclair Historical Society was created in 1965 around the effort to save, move and restore this distinctive and rare (in this area) example of Greek Revival- style architecture.  Israel Crane, a descendant of one of Newark's founding families, built the house in the 1790s, and his son ,James, renovated the exterior and first-floor rooms inside in the Greek Revival taste around 1840.  The Society has embarked on the development of a historically appropriate furnishing plan for the house.  As a preliminary step in this process, NLA was hired to prepare a report on the existing historical conditions of the building.  In addition to assessing the physical features of the house, Neil Larson is also developing an overview of the architecture of Newark and its surrounding towns to place the two stages of the Crane house into context. EXISTING CONDITION ASSESSMENTS OF HISTORIC FARMS AND FARM BUILDINGS Duke Farms, Somerville, Somerset County, NJ Client:   Betty Bird & Associates, Washington. D.C. for              The Conservation Fund, Arlington, VA Team:   Neil Larson and Jill Fisher Date:    Spring 2001 Duke Farms was created by billionaire James Buchanan Duke in the 1890's as a country retreat and was expanded and elaborated by his daughter, Doris Duke during her lifetime.  It is now operated by a foundation with plans to preserve the 3000-acre complex and open increasing amounts of its gardens, parkland and historic farms to the public.  LFA, Inc. is producing a series of assessments of historic farms, most dating to the 18th century, incorporated into the Duke property.  These have resulted in a number of historic documentation and existing condition reports on farmhouses, barns and landscapes. LOCUST LAWN HISTORIC LANDSCAPE REPORT Gardiner, Ulster County, New York Client:   Huguenot Historical Society,              New Paltz, NY Team:   Neil Larson, with R.M.              Toole,Landscape Architect Date:     May 2002 For this project LFA provided a detailed analysis of the rural landscape and historical context for Locust Lawn, a distinctive Federal period mansion.  The report provided the basis for a master landscape plan for the grounds as well as interpretation its design and farm setting. KIMLIN CIDER MILL NATIONAL REGISTER NOMINATION FORM & EXISTING CONDITIONS REPORT Town of Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County, NY Team:   Neil Larson Client:  Cider Mill Friends of Open Space & Historic Preservation, Inc. Date:    2001 (NR) &  2010 (Report) To respond quickly to the threat of demolition, LFA acted quickly to obtain a determination from the New York State Historic Preservation Office that the property was eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. We then prepared a National Register nomination form to secure an official designation. The significance statement explained the important role the cider mill played in promoting farm preservation to local residents, including nearby Vassar College students who made it a popular hang-out.  After a protracted but ultimately successful battle for ownership, Cider Mill Friends hired LFA to provide an Existing Conditions Report so that long-awaited preservation measures could take place. SAMUEL HARRISON HOUSE  EXISTING CONDITIONS ASSESSMENT & NATIONAL REGISTER NOMINATION Pittsfield, Berkshire County, Mass. Client:   Pittsfield Historical Commission &              Samuel Harrison Society Team:   Neil Larson Date:    1999 & 2005 This modest house is associated with one of the most prominent African American figures of the Civil War Era in Massachusetts.  The Massachusetts Historical Commission hired Neil Larson in 1999 to document the existing conditions of the Samuel Harrison House and make an assessment of its eligibility for the National Register.  At that time the house was vacant, deteriorating and threatened with demolition.  Fortunately, the report coincided with a revival of community interest in the property and the house is being restored as a museum to Samuel Harrison and African American history in Pittsfield.  LFA also prepared the National Register Nomination Form for the property.
Project Examples HISTORIC STRUCTURE REPORTS & EXISTING CONDITIONS ASSESSMENTS