The names Cole and Dissoway are very familiar to those who are into the history and genealogy of Staten Island. Now, the New York City Historic Districts Council is advocating landmark designation for the 19th century home of Captain Abram and Ruth Dissoway Cole. The Greek Revival style home is a rare surving example of this architecture that was once common on the island. It was continuously owned by members of the Cole family up until the 1970’s, and is located in Tottenville.
The present owners adamantly oppose landmarking, claiming it amounted to condemnation by eminent domain without compensation. The owner’s attorney testified that the building’s original fabric had been extensively damaged in a 1999 fire, and a representative of Council Member Vincent Ignizio testified that while many buildings in southern Staten Island deserve designation “this is not one of them.” The owner intends to sell the property to a developer aspiring to build a mall at the site, lending urgency to preservationists’ calls for landmarking, according to New York City Land Use News.
Landmarks has not yet set a date to vote on designations.