Here’s a Brooklyn residence like none other — a secluded, freestanding carriage house with a garden, a long gated driveway and a massive garage set on the largest residential lot in the Prospect Heights Historic District. While the horse stalls may be gone, the rustic old beams remain, giving character to the interiors. Asking a couple hairs under $5.5 million, the 3,100-square-foot house includes three beds and two baths, and is set on 0.09 of an acre. Shepard Skiff with Compass holds the listing.
Originally, the brick double-mansard roofed building was part of the so-called Pirie residence. A cofounder of the dry goods firm that would become Chicago’s famous Carson Pirie Scott department store, Pirie and his family moved into a Park Place brownstone in 1883. In 1887, Pirie built a two-story stable behind the house, which, when horses became obsolete, eventually became the home’s motor garage before finally morphing into a family home in its own right.
While the two-story dwelling is attractive now, with an open-plan living room with wood-burning stove and bedrooms as well as another sitting room upstairs, the house could be reconfigured to make better use of the space, especially that enormous garage. We’d certainly add a bathroom downstairs, at the very least. The listing hints about the property’s need for a renovation, stating that the home “awaits its next reimagining.”
Awkwardly, the house is still accessed via the original carriage/garage doors, meaning one must traipse through the garage before entering the home’s ground floor. A way to enter the house without going through the garage would be much better — let’s hope the next owner agrees. The open floorplan room includes a kitchen, with a pantry accessed by barn doors, as well as lathe-turned original posts that once separated horse stalls. There are also beautiful exposed beams and a floating wood-burning stove.
The second floor boasts ceilings that range in height from 15 to 20 feet. The skylight and large windows flood that level with sunlight; besides the bedrooms, bathrooms, and living room, the upper level also includes a sleeping loft accessible by ladder.
Out back, accessed via sliding glass doors, there’s a lovely garden with trees, shrubbery and bulbs, plus a good-sized bluestone patio. Truly, this is a very good and impressive size for a city garden, and the listing notes that there are flowering plants from early spring to mid-autumn.