In Brooklyn’s historic Prospect Heights, this 125-year-old brownstone still sports a slew of very fine period details: antique carved wood fireplaces, a gigantic pier mirror, lots of built-in cabinetry, and interior shutters over sash windows. Even the original gas lamps are intact!
Set on a 2,500-square-foot plot, which is reasonably big for the neighborhood, the house was built in 1897 by Brooklyn developer William H. Reynolds, who advertised “artistic colored stone dwellings” with tiled baths, hardwood trim and bookcases on this block. The bookcases are still there, as well as the original hardwood floors with inlaid borders and tall baseboards. Glass-inset pocket doors and several Victorian marble bedroom sinks have also survived.
The house hasn’t changed hands since 1970, so significant upgrades are needed to the kitchen, baths, and yard to make this diamond shine again. Still, it’s rare to find a house with so many original features. Legally a two-family building but currently configured as a single-family home, the 3,638-square-foot townhouse has four bedrooms and two baths, plus a powder room. The 19-foot-wide house is available for $3.2 million via Christopher Howard at Compass.
On the parlor level, an expansive, 28-foot-long living room leads to a library that showcases starburst pattern stained-glass windows, while the garden level features a classic English basement layout that incorporates a formal dining room, a powder room and a kitchen with tin ceilings and backyard access. Functional, with a couple of newer appliances, the kitchen has all the bones to become a truly impressive and inviting space in the hands of someone with the right ideas and resources. (Imagine the back wall being replaced with French doors that allow the room to spill easily out to the backyard.)
The third floor houses two spacious bedrooms and a hall bathroom with a beautiful stained-glass door and stained-glass window. Unfortunately, this bathroom doesn’t have its original tiles or fixtures but, like the kitchen, could be a retro-style dream with a little TLC. Up on the fourth floor are two more bedrooms, and a bath with skylight. There’s also an old kitchen that can easily be ripped out and converted into an ample walk-in closet.
The yard, too, needs some attention. It is, however, quite deep, with a big deck and a huge shade tree that make it perfect for summer gatherings. On top of all that, the location is superb: within the Prospect Heights Historic District and just two blocks from Grand Army Plaza.
Enjoy afternoons strolling through nearby Prospect Park, then retire to your own backyard to congratulate yourself for having the taste and vision to bring this distressed old grand dame back to life.