An 1880 Artist's Cottage in the Rockaways That Feels Like a Ship
New York magazine|December 7-20, 2020
Patrick Clark has spent the last 22 years bringing the house back to life, preserving it for its next century.
By Wendy Goodman

THE STOVE

Owner Patrick Clark restored this cottage, once owned by the artist Richard Mott, in part by using pieces from Mott’s other house, circa 1860, also in the Rockaways, which was demolished. “I made a new hearth under the coal stove with blue tiles I had salvaged from the Mott Mansion. I also got matching white tiles there to repair the white porcelain tiles behind the stove.”

THE HOUSE SITS on one of the lowest elevations in the Rockaways,” says Patrick Clark, who bought the 19th-century shingled cottage in 1998. He soon realized, among other things, that it had to be raised in order to avoid being flooded every month with the new moon, which sends about 16 inches of water from the bay across the street.

Clark is a stained-glass artisan, and he has scrupulously restored and preserved the house, which bears a discreet plaque on one side that reads the richard mott house c. 1880 a historic artist’s cottage in the borough of queens, new york city. Inside, it feels like you’re in a 19th-century seafaring vessel.

The previous owner had been something of a hoarder, and the house was a wreck when he bought it. The wood on the ground floor was completely gone, and only cracked concrete slabs remained. “I had to open the walls, cut out rotted studs, and laminate/sandwich studs with new support studs,” he says. Since the ceiling was so low on the first floor, “I decided to add ten inches to its height.”

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM NEW YORK MAGAZINEView All

The Fixer

DJ Khaled is not a rapper. But he does always seem to know a guy.

6 mins read
New York magazine
May 10 - 23, 2021

Science of Us: Katie Heaney

The Clock-Out Cure For those who can afford it, quitting has become the ultimate form of self-care.

6 mins read
New York magazine
May 10 - 23, 2021

THE Destroy-It-to-Save-It Plan FOR East River Park

The city’s first real battle over climate adaptation has arrived.

10+ mins read
New York magazine
May 10 - 23, 2021

You'd Be an Iconic Guest

A ruthless Instagram interviewer brings her knowing wink to cable.

5 mins read
New York magazine
May 10 - 23, 2021

The Great Indoors

A critic reacclimates to the now-unfamiliar terrain of the dining room.

4 mins read
New York magazine
May 10 - 23, 2021

Political Animals: Olivia Nuzzi

The Crisis Crisis How the White House polices language in Washington—including the president’s.

6 mins read
New York magazine
May 10 - 23, 2021

What Was the Office?

It Was Stressful, Filthy, High Stakes—and Where the Action Was

10+ mins read
New York magazine
April 26 - May 9, 2021

ANDREW YANG'S INSIDER CAMPAIGN

How did a former CEO of 100 employees become the front-runner to govern a city of 8.5 million? Not simply by being a national celebrity and an excellent campaigner.

10+ mins read
New York magazine
May 10 - 23, 2021

The Group Portrait: Little Pot

The activists and entrepreneurs intent on making New York’s new cannabis industry more equitable, less corporate.

2 mins read
New York magazine
April 26 - May 9, 2021

Tech vs. Journalism

Silicon Valley feels picked on by “woke” journalists “who can't code." Reporters feel picked on by petty zillionaires with anger-management problems. Inside the nasty clout battle for how the world’s most influential industry gets covered.

10+ mins read
New York magazine
May 10 - 23, 2021