This mansion was built in 1850s for Stephen D. Barnes, a prominent oysterman, his wife, Judith Van Pelt, as well as their children. During this time, it was typical of people to have homes built in the Greek Revival style, however, the Barnes' home broke standards, reminiscing the style of the Italian Renaissance. The home, which is located at 2876 Richmond Terrace, architecturally includes a dramatic rooftop cupola, wide eaves, small iron balconies, brownstone rope moldings, and Gothic finials. There was said to be an old well in the backyard, that contained many relics such as an old moonshine jug, a statue of an unpleasant looking woman, pieces of a china doll, a broken hearth tile, dish sets, and more.
In 1889, Stephen D. Barnes died in the house from pneumonia, and according to neighborhood tales, he continues to haunt the mansion. Captain Thomas John Barry Jr, one of the former owners, reports strange things happening at 10:48, having seen a sconce turn upside down, and hearing pacing. Despite this, Barnes found the hauntings to be asset, adding character to the 160+ year old house.
The current owner of the home since 2009, Biagio Pergolizzi, had ambitious plans to restore the mansion which fell into disrepair after the 1930s. Throughout its time, the home was occupied by many other renters and lodgers, and the mansion was slowly striped of its porch and rooftop cupola. In 1976, the home was designated as a city landmark, unfortunately, 3 years later the interior was badly damaged due to a fire. 2003 is when the former owner, Thomas Barry bought the house and began the restoration process which still remains to be finished.
This haunted home gives us a little glimpse of Staten Island's living history. Stay tuned to our website tomcrimminsrealty.com to see the multitude of other historical landmark homes located throughout Staten Island.