Description & Building Alterations
This three-story with basement and attic Greek Revival-style row house was erected in 1837-38. Between 1845 and 1857, it was the home of the prosperous South Street commission merchant Ralph Mead and his wife Ann Van Wyck. The Ralph and Ann E. Van Wyck Mead House is the only remaining row house of four houses that were constructed for Mead’s extended family. Later, in 1874, the building became the Issac T. Hopper Home of the Women’s Prison Association, a reform organization founded by Issac Tatem Hopper and his daughter Abigail Hopper Gibbons, who sought to better the lives of women who had been through the criminal justice system.
Gibbons also founded and managed several philanthropies, and served as the vice president of the Tenth National Women’s Rights Convention held at Cooper Union in May of 1860 and 1869.
This building features a cast-iron balcony on the first story, machine-pressed red brick as front-wall materials, an entrance in a brownstone portico with Ionic fluted columns supporting a chaste entablature, simple molded window lintels, a bracketed rectangular sill, and a denticulated cornice. It showcases a front gate, an areaway, a stoop, and a canopy-like entranceway. The building was designated as an individual landmark in 2009.
Block : 448 / Lot : 004 / Building Date : 1837-38 / Original Owner : Ralph Mead / Original Use : Residential / Original Architect : Unknown