I have a passion for pink houses. Whenever I see a pink house, I stop and take a photo.
Located on the grounds of Sea View Community Center, the Sea View Playwright’s Theatre offers classic and contemporary plays. Its architecture transports me to the English cottages described in the Victorian style, with just a touch of a hobbit house too.
This large French villa, which sits atop Grymes Hill, is one of the most impressive houses on Staten island. It has views of the entire New York Harbor. You can see the Verrazano Narrows Bridge peeking through in the background.
Staten Island even has pink condos along the Great Hills waterfront. Boat lovers have the marina too.
Finally, a very charming Colonial located in Livingston, Staten Island near Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Gardens.
As you can see, Staten Island represents a diversity of architectural styles, but what most attracts my eye, is a pink house.
Fort Wadsworth, a military base that was active for 200 hundred years (1783 – 1994) is now part of the National Park Service’s Gateway National Recreation Area. Its 226 acres include the old remains of the Forts themselves as well as park areas, beach, wooded areas, wildlife, and modern housing. The Verrazano Narrows Bridge, which spans the Narrows, extends over the Fort and seems almost within touching distance.
The original Fort still stands, although Battery Weed and Fort Tompkins are the only buildings where interior tours of the concrete and stone artillery batteries can be arranged. The old slitted gunnery windows overlooking the Narrows, and the labyrinth of tunnels, artillery, and powder rooms give a bleak, somber perspective of the lives of soldiers guarding New York Harbor.
Postcards is a permanent memorial honoring the 274 Staten Island residents killed on September 11th 2001. It is located on the St. George Esplanade near the Staten Island Ferry and Richmond County Bank Ballpark. Designed by Masayuki Sono, its two winglike sculpture represent postcards to loved ones. It looks out onto the New York harbor and the World Trade Center. Inside are 274 plaques and profiles carved in the likenesses of each of the Staten Island victims.
I always felt that the sculpture represents the wings of angels reaching out to those who lost their lives. Walk between the stone structures, and you will see the carved silhouettes of each victim in profile, chiseled into granite for eternity. It is a powerfully sobering experience to stand inside and look at each face.
Thousands of people from all over the world lost their lives on that fateful day. Because so many Islanders took the Staten island Ferry each day to work at the World Trade Center, Staten Island lost a disproportionately large number of lives. It is a terrible legacy and Staten Island will Never Forget.
The luxury homes on Staten Island vary quite a lot in style. Those located in the hills often have the old world grandeur. Grymes Hill has some spectacular architecture, and none more fascinating than this one. Its terracotta tiled roof, stucco walls, and wrought iron grilles suggest Spanish Revival style.
Yet those same characteristics could also describe an elegant Italian country style villa. The vibrant landscaping, with sidewalks of sunflowers, reminds me of Tuscany. The juliet balcony seems to me…well…Shakespearean.
Grymes Hill was part of a land grant in 1687 to Thomas Dongan, Governor of the Province of New York. In 1830, local developer Major George Howard purchased 42 acres, and built many of the hill’s earliest homes, and his name survives in Howard Avenue, the hill’s main street. Many of the homes overlook New York Harbor.
Across the street, another villa – of pink stucco with shuttered windows and embossed crest peeks out from behind its own small forest. Down the windy road, a yellow stucco house looks out to the NY Harbor.
I could spend hours showing you more of the hills of Staten Island. Stay tuned!