Knapp Building on Greenwich Ave May Return to Original Retail Use

The use of the building that was home to Fred D Knapp & Son Funeral Home for 117 years will soon be on a Planning & Zoning Commission agenda.

The funeral home operated at the same location at 267 Greenwich Avenue since 1906.

Knapp building, Feb 21, 2024 Photo: Leslie Yager

Knapp building, Feb 21, 2024 Photo: Leslie Yager

According to the US Dept of Interior’s National Park Service National Register of Historic Places, the Fred Knapp Building is a Late Gothic Revival design. It has an elaborate limestone tracery on its storefront and parapet adding to the distinctiveness of the building, and stands in contrast to its newer Queen Anne style neighbor.

Click here for the National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places vintage photos of Greenwich Avenue including this undated photo:

From the National Park Service gallery of the Greenwich Avenue Historic District

In June 2023, the funeral parlor relocated to shared facilities at Coxe & Graziano Funeral Home at 134 Hamilton Ave in Chickahominy. The Coxe & Graziano location is a much larger facility and has a large on-premises parking lot, including garaged parking for funeral home vehicles.

New home to Fred D Knapp Funeral Home at Coxe & Graziano at 134 Hamilton Ave in Chickahominy.

At the time, Fred D Knapp & Son owner Matt Murphy explained the move would resolve parking and space deficiencies on Greenwich Avenue.

The Knapp funeral parlor, which operated on the first floor and basement, was considered a non-conforming use in the CGBR zone.

Two existing apartments upstairs are not proposed to change use.

A historic photo of the building submitted as part of the application file reflects its original, conforming retail use.

The applicant is 267 Greenwich Avenue Associates LLC, registered to Mr. Murphy.

According to the application narrative, the first floor and basement interior would be renovated for retail purposes and be divided into two stores. One store would be accessed from the rear parking area and one would be accessed from Greenwich Avenue.

Also, the facade is proposed to be restored to its original condition to facilitate retail use.

From the application file, an undated historic photo of 267 Greenwich Ave in its original use as retail space.

From the application file: Proposed front elevation. Drawing by Ridberg + Associates

Next door to the Knapp building is the building formerly home to Ralph Lauren at 257-265 Greenwich Avenue. After Ralph Lauren departed in 2017 following eight years operating there, the two-story commercial building sat vacant until 2021.

In 2021 it became been home to SaksWorks offering two floors of flexible work and meeting space, and a ground floor restaurant, Ruby & Bella’s, named after the owner Richard Baker’s dogs.

SaksWorks and Ruby & Bella’s abruptly closed in September 2023.