Nicholas Killmeyer Store and Residence, Staten Island
Address: 4321 Arthur Kill Road
LPC Action: Public Hearing 10/1/1991
LPC Backlog Hearing: Removed from the calendar without prejudice
This mansard-roofed store/residence served as the general store in Kreischerville, the 19th-century company town that is now present-day Charleston.
LPC Statement of Significance:
This two-and-one-half-story building, originally designed to serve both residential and commercial purposes, was constructed c. 1873 for Nicholas Killmeyer, provisioner to the factory village of Kreischerville for more than thirty years. Located at the corner of Arthur Kill Road and Winant Place, the building is set close to the street, its facade-wide porch serving the practical function of providing access to the store. The building is designed in a vernacular version of the Second Empire style and features a characteristic mansard roof clad in slate ornamented by rosettes composed of red and yellow slate. The steep slope of the site allows for a tall basement at the rear of the house. The elevated rear porch, with its scrolled brackets and jigsaw trim, is somewhat more ornate that the street-side porch. Projecting window lintels, a bracketed cornice, segmentally-arched dormers, and chimneys of Kreischer brick are other notable features.
Born in Prussia, Killmeyer arrived in New York City in 1850 and soon found employment with Manhattan fire brick manufacturer Balthazar Kreischer who dispatched him to Woodbridge, New Jersey, where a Kreischer company clay mining operation had been established. Albert Killmeyer noted in an interview, obtained by the Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences in the 1940s, that his father, Nicholas, had informed Kreischer that similar clay deposits were to be found on Staten Island. Killmeyer arrived on Staten Island with his employer in 1853 and immediately became the proprietor of a boarding house for the relocated Kreischer Company’s first workers. Albert Killmeyer also recorded that his father was set up in the grocery business of Kreischer in 1859. That store, a building of c. 1845, still stands at the corner of Arthur Kill Road and Sharrotts Road; in about 1884-85, the imposing Killmeyer Union Hotel and Saloon were added to it. The Killmeyer enterprises, including the sotre at 4321 Arthur Kill Road, reflect aspects of the history and development of the factory village of Kreischerville and the consequently increasing prosperity enjoyed by their owner.