As one of the oldest remaining homes in Kingsbridge, many consider the Moller Mansion on Godwin Terrace as historic. But now it’s about to become history.
Galaxy General Contracting, the nearby Albany Crescent developer that bought the home from the Archdiocese of New York for $1.5 million in August, has filed the necessary permits with the city’s buildings department to turn the 1870-built home into rubble.
Actual demolition likely won’t begin until early next year, since the permitting process for such work can take up to six months, according to a Galaxy spokesman. Some work already is underway to disconnect it from water and gas, but the rest will have to wait until its cleared by city officials.
The mansion — which faces P.S. 207 and served as a residential building for Catholic priests for decades — was built by sugar magnate George Moller nearly 150 years ago. At the time, the area was still part of Yonkers, and the house was later moved several hundred feet to make room for a neighboring church expansion.
Nick Dembowski, president of the Kingsbridge Historical Society, told The Riverdale Press last month he would be sad to see the home get demolished, but knew of no path that could be used to save it. Instead, he had hoped the new owners — known for their apartment structures, and for building St. Peter the Apostle Greek Orthodox Church on Kingsbridge Avenue — would allow some of his members to tour the inside of the house, and document anything of value before the home was destroyed.
Dembowski reached out to the developer at the end of September, offering an honorary membership into the historical society in exchange for a chance to document the house, but said he never heard back.
“I understand that developers are going to develop property,” Dembowski said. “What I don’t understand is why not let interested folks document history before it’s lost?”
The house just isn’t in great shape, and is not very safe at the moment for anyone to visit inside, the Galaxy spokesman said. The house has been in disrepair for a number of years, and outside of some moulding in a few rooms, there didn’t appear to be anything of historical significance.
One of the key features of the house — a set of stained glass windows on one side — were removed by the church before closing the sale, with plans to preserve them.
The land is zoned for higher-density residential, similar to the other apartment buildings that surround it. Galaxy says it plans to build an apartment building on the site.
“I would be very sad to see it go,” Dembowski said last month. “It was a gem when it was built, and it is even rarer now.”
There hasn’t been a lot of subway disruption since the entire system started shutting down overnight for deep cleaning and disinfecting last May. But that extra time isn’t enough to detour some late-night A and C trains in coming weeks.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority says it will re-route A, C and E trains on weeknights beginning Monday, Nov. 2, for the next three weeks — with the exception of Nov. 16.
Beginning at 9:30 each evening, A trains will run local between 207th Street and Queens, moving to the D line between 59th Street and 34th Street-Herald Square, and the F line from there to Jay Street-MetroTech in Brooklyn.
Because of that, C trains will end at 9:30, while D trains rill run local in both directions between 59th and 125th streets.
Manhattan alternatives include using 1, 2 and 3 trains along Seventh Avenue; D and F stations on Sixth Avenue; or N, Q and R trains along Broadway.
The MTA will use that time to perform track maintenance, repair and clean the corridor, and install a computer-based signaling system.
Regular service is expected to resume Nov. 23.