Forgotten New York Correspondent

The story of New Brighton Village Hall is one of neglect, inaction and despair. New Brighton Village Hall was constructed in 1871 by English-born architect James Whitford. The three-story brick building featured a mansard roof that exemplified the French Empire style of the time.


Following New Brighton’s absorption into Greater New York in 1898, the building served a variety of civic functions and gradually deteriorating over the decades. Although it was landmarked at the early year 1965, soon after the landmarks law was passed, it did not reverse the building’s demise.


In October 1971, the city auctioned the building and it was acquired by Martin Luther King Heritage House for $26,000, a nonprofit which planned to reopen it as a community center. Lacking the funds, the vacant building went through a series of private owners until February 2004, when the Department of Buildings ruled that the building was unsafe enough to warrant its demolition.


The city then donated the plot to the Sisters of Charity for to build fifty-nine units of subsidized low-income senior housing. SLCE Architects was selected to design a residence that would honor the history of the site.


What emerged was Lafayette Manor, which opened its doors in October 2012. Its namesake is Lafayette Avenue.


Categorized in: Forgotten Slices

5 Responses to NEW BRIGHTON VILLAGE HALL, Staten Island

  1. Edward says:

    Considering all the garbage architects are foisting on us today, Lafayette Manor isn’t too bad and gives a healthy nod to the old Village Hall. Dig the early 1950s Chevy (?) behind the fence at the bus stop.

  2. Walt Gosden says:

    That is a Chevrolet and dates from either 1953 or 1954.

  3. Trivia: There are currently only four former pre-1898 municipality seats still standing within New York City:
    Flushing Town Hall
    Flatbush Town Hall
    Brooklyn Borough Hall
    Edgewater Village Hall in Stapleton.

    In memoriam:
    Jamaica Town Hall was demolished in 1940
    Newtown Town Hall was gone in 1966
    Long Island City’s Hackett Building bit the dust in 2007.
    Far Rockaway Village Hall probably was gone soon after the Magistrate’s Court left it in 1932.

  4. victor says:

    if you consider the “modern” minivan and other auto designs, it’s not hard to see the kinship between that early 50s sleekness and today’s. it wouldn’t take much to return to that “old” aesthetic in my opinion.

    as for those stoic old buildings in northern S.I., too bad. there was a whole bunch of them overlooking the ferry/bay that were converted to vacant lots over the years…you’d think THOSE would be saved. but our culture craves demolition, and second-rate replacements.

  5. Tom says:

    I think that building was where HIP had its doctor’s offices in the late 1950s-early 1960s. As the era of house calls was fading, we’d go there for vaccinations etc.

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