Connection Proposed for Neighboring Contributing Houses on Hamilton Street

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By Christine Sampson

In a discussion item, Christopher Knoess, who owns adjacent, historic houses at 36 Hamilton Street and 40 Hamilton Street, pitched to the HPARB connecting the two houses with a breezeway set 35 feet back from the road and hidden from view with landscaping.

According to attorney Alex Kriegsman, who represents Mr. Knoess, the resulting structure would be one house with one kitchen and a new septic system for the entire property.

“It is a way to preserve them,” Mr. Kriegsman said.

Board chairman Anthony Brandt seemed somewhat turned off by the idea.

“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” Mr. Brandt said. “This is not an easy decision for me because it is unprecedented, and I’m wary of establishing precedent with historic houses.”

However, other board members were intrigued by the suggestion.

“It’s interesting and quirky,” John “Chris” Connor said.

Val Florio called the proposed breezeway “benign,” said he is fine with the aesthetics and observed it would not do real “damage” to the historic houses.

“I think they’ve got legal hoops to jump through to make it happen,” he said. “I think it’s so unique that not too many people would have the wherewithal to do this. It’s nicer than looking at a 2,000-square-foot addition to one or either of these homes … they’re being preserved and contained in size and scale.”

As of Tuesday, a formal application for this proposal had yet to be filed with the village.

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