A college thesis has finally made history.
Dyker Heights’s famed “Saitta House” has made it to the National Register of Historic Places — thanks to a New York University medical student who did his college thesis on the neighborhood’s under-appreciated history.
“Bay Ridge was getting all the historic press and it seemed to me that Dyker Heights has gotten the short end of the historic stick,” said the student, Christian Zaino, who pushed for the historic recognition for the hand-crafted, 110-year-old house at 1134 84th St.
“This house … deserves this recognition,” he said.
The Saitta House is a two-and-a-half-story, one-family Queen Anne dwelling with Tudor decoration that beautifully shows the hand of architect John J. Petit, who built it at the direction of Beatrice and Simone Saitta.
The home has for a long time been a local curiosity, but now it carries the distinction of being the first house in Dyker to carry the historic designation, which is long overdue, according to Zaino.
“The home is such a masterpiece that it was featured on the cover of the June 1901 issue of Scientific American’s building edition,” said Zaino, who is also president of the Dyker Heights Historical Society. “No other house in Dyker Heights retains so much of its original architectural and structural components — both interior and exterior — as the Saitta House. It represents the original ideals, way of life, and quality architectural design of the original Dyker Heights development.”
The house couldn’t escape Zaino’s attention, since he lives across the street from it. He turned his inspiration into action, and got the support of Fran Vella-Marrone, president of the Dyker Heights Civic Association, before filing the paper work to get the house designated. The rest, as the say, is history.
The house was officially designated on May 30.
Is it any surprise that Zaino got a passing grade on his thesis, too?