My Old House: Share your story with like minded people

Port Richmond, Staten Island: Saltbox Style home                       

Owner: John Foxell                                                            29 Cottage Place, CIRCA 1848


Nominated by Owner for NYC Landmarking and NYS Register Designation

As featured in the NY Times: A Man and His Miscellany




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The first thing you notice is that there is no doorbell, only a knocker. A tour inside the house will reveal many omissions, no television, computers, washing machine or electric gadgets. There are however, ten telephones (not all connected) , a few 1940s vintage radios and over 6,000 books. The simple things in life are preferred.


The house is believed to have been built in 1848, but may be earlier. It was built as part of a larger dwelling at 65-73 Cottage Place, cut off  and transplanted to its current lot. It was part of a Inn and served as a  stagecoach stop for travelers from New York to Philadelphia. 


Before 1900 the Department of Buildings did not have complete records and it only shows the move to the current address in 1906.


It  is a salt box style house which has been restored and embellished with stain glass windows salvaged from various homes and churches. It has many original materials, such as  hand made nails and unfired bricks.


One cannot miss the many unusual ariefacts and historic items on display. Buddhist and African Art adorn practically every room of the house.


John salvaged a mahogany staircase from a home which was being gutted. It now leads to his remodelled basement, a huge all purpose room for reading & relaxing .

It boasts  high ceilings, due to its  transplant .

salt box tyle home located in port richmond statne island and owned by john foxell

 Continued: In the living room is a letter to the former President Roosevelt from his wife Eleanor in 1961 of a personal nature arranging a private meeting and interview at Mrs. Roosevelt’s office at the American Association of the United Nations. There are also signed photos of president Truman  also in 1961. These are just a few of the interesting items in Mr. Foxell’s home.


The  large yard boasts lovely gardens and two gazebo/prayer houses. There is a tribute to Dorothy Day , which the owner once spent time as a Catholic Worker. Her home on Staten Island, “Spanish Camp” was demolished so this home is dedicated in her memory.


Contributed by John Foxell, edited by Angela D’Aiuto



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2009 NYC Landmark home  located in Tompkinsville, Westervelt Avenue was purchased and restored with a 203K Loan.


Notice the picture on the left, many details of this Queen Ann style home are missing.


The photo above, shows the restored exterior of the home, with cedar shingles and a restored porch and roof.


The photo on the right shows the beautiful stain glass window in the entry foyer. The woodwork was careful restored to its original beauty.