YORKTOWN, N.Y. - Reviving one of Yorktown’s oldest homes proved to be too difficult and expensive a task for a local contractor, who proudly announced at a press conference four years ago that he would renovate the dilapidated structure.
After sinking a large amount of time and money into the project, Mark Franzoso conceded that the home was simply too far gone to be salvaged.
“At the end of the day, only 15 percent of the house could be saved to make it conforming,” Franzoso said. “I feel awful, I really do.”
The Adams-Bernstein house, located at 3147 Old Yorktown Road (Route 132), was built in the 1830s. About 25 years ago, the home was given to the town to preserve as a historic monument for a period of 10 years. The town still owned the property after those 10 years, but the home was neglected and it began to deteriorate.
Franzoso bought the property from Yorktown in 2013. He said his company has spent $30,000 trying to restore the home to no avail. The house simply “sat too long,” he said.
“I kind of feel I let some people down by not being able to do this,” Franzoso said.
Franzoso said he will rebuild a near-duplicate of the Adams-Bernstein house in its place. It will then be marketed as a single-family home. Unfortunately, he said there are not many pieces from the original home that can be salvaged and re-used in the new home. Most of the historic artifacts inside the home were removed before construction began, he said.
Bill Primavera, the Realtor who negotiated the deal four years ago with Franzoso, said the house was neglected too long and was beyond saving.
“I support Mark’s plan to demolish the house and to construct a home that looks similar in character to the original,” said Primavera, a member of the Yorktown Landmarks Preservation Commission. “Certainly, it rids the town of a derelict eyesore that has been a blemish on our landscape for a long time. I’m sure that Mark will design and build a structure that we can all admire, reminiscent of the one that originally stood there.”
Primavera also commended Franzoso for being able to save 75 to 80 percent of the property’s original barn, which has been renovated.