Building History: 2012 to Present

The Berrien House 2012 (photo courtesy of Andrew Berrien Jones)

The Rescue

By the summer of 2012, the Berrien House had been abandoned for several decades. The structure was collapsing inside with floors sloping severely. Rain cascaded through the roof.

After attempts in the 2000s by several different owners to restore the house, it ended up as a foreclosure property.

Fortunately the bank holding the property, Queensborough National Bank and Trust, understood its historic significance, eventually selling it to Andrew Berrien Jones, descendant.

Removal of Stucco 2013

Removal of Stucco, 2013

The new owner decided to return the Berrien House to its period of significance, the second quarter of the 19th century, when John Macpherson Berrien entertained many of his illustrious colleagues here.

That decision required removal of the 1916 stucco, revealing the beaded cypress clapboard of the original structure.

Original Cornice Revealed in 2013

Original Cornice Revealed

In removing the stucco, workers revealed the building's original 18th century cornice, consisting of a row of corbels above a fretwork of interlocking semicircles.

Lowering the House, 2013 (photo courtesy of Andrew Berrien Jones)

Lowering the House

Returning the building to its period of significance also required demolition of the 1916 storefront and lowering the entire structure 3 feet onto a proper 18th century style ground floor.

This image shows the building during the process.

Berrien House 2016

Exterior Completion 2016

By early 2016, work on the facade had finished.