BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — This weekend's listings are for house hunters who prefer the charm, character and storied past of century-old buildings rather than shiny new construction. These three homes each offer a chance to own a piece of Brooklyn history.
Approximately 1,000 square feet
Monthly maintenance: $1,094
Open House: Sunday, Sept. 29, 1 – 3 p.m.
Lowdown: This north-facing two-bedroom with new hardwood floors, leaded glass windows and a wood-burning fireplace sits in one of Brooklyn Heights' most gorgeous buildings steps from the Promenade.
The Arlington, an 1887 10-story Queen Anne gem listed on the National Historic Register, was home to playwright Arthur Miller and his first wife in the 1940s (pre-Marilyn Monroe). He paid $40 a month while working nearby in the Brooklyn Navy Yard and writing, said Myrel Glick, of Douglas Elliman.
"For its first 20 years it was the tallest residence in the Heights," Glick said. "It has a lot of history."
The unit's master bedroom was redone by an HGTV show, 'Dear Genevieve,'" Glick said.
"It has an antique crystal chandelier and period details," she said. "It's elegant, romantic and fits in beautifully with the building."
Over the past few years the Arlington added a roof deck and more storage. It just completed a "meticulous" three-year renovation of the brickwork and terracotta façade, Glick said.
The co-op is pet-friendly, she added.
Location: It's roughly 40 feet from the Promenade entrance and near the new Squib Bridge connecting the central Heights down to Brooklyn Bridge Park, Glick noted. Montague Street, the area's main thoroughfare, has restaurants and shops aplenty. The building is near several subway lines at Court Street, Clark Street and High Street.
Why put it on your open house calendar? This is the first open house for an apartment chock full of pre-war details in one of Brooklyn Heights' premier historic buildings.
2,400 square feet (excluding the basement)
Taxes: approximately $4,000 a year
Open House: Sunday, Sept. 29, noon to 1:30 p.m.
Lowdown: The faux stone on the façade of this wood frame house belies the building's historic place in the neighborhood. Built in the 1850s or 1860s, it's the oldest house on Classon Avenue, according to Ayanna Barton, of Town Residential.
"You don't know what to expect when you walk in. It's a lot larger than you might think from the outside," she said. "It feels like a cottage house."
There is a one-bedroom unit on the first floor and a three-bedroom, two-bath duplex above. There's also a finished basement and a big backyard. The plumbing was redone in 2008, and the foundation of the house was re-stabilized in 2006, Barton said.
The house would make a good investment, Barton suggested, offering the first floor could fetch $2,500 a month and the duplex could charge $3,500. But she thought it made more sense to reconvert it into a single-family home.
"A lot of people who are buying right now in Brooklyn are looking at brownstone or limestone and this is not that," she said. "This is a cute little house for a kind of buyer who has a vision to make the place their own."
Zosia Mamet, an actress from the HBO series "Girls" and daughter of playwright David Mamet, looked at the house a few times before deciding to move to Williamsburg, Barton said.
Location: The house is on the border of Clinton Hill and Bedford-Stuyvesant in a quickly gentrifying corner of the area, near new restaurants such as Choice Market, Urban Vintage and Alice's Arbor. The C train at Franklin Avenue is a 5-minute walk away, Barton said.
Why put it on your open house calendar? The house, on market since July, had a price drop of $100,000 last week. The property is in good condition but has a fairly basic kitchen that awaits a renovation. "It's a special, unique house for a specific person," Barton said.
3-bedroom, 1.5 bath
1,632 square feet
Taxes: Under $1,000/year
Open House: Sunday, Sept. 29, noon to 2 p.m.
Lowdown: The big draw of this brick two-family townhouse built in 1901 is hidden — it's a lushly landscaped backyard with two decks and a koi pond.
"It is an open bright area when you walk into the townhouse. Then you can walk out to the extensive garden," said Geraldine Sargeant, of Douglas Elliman, who listed the house just over a week ago. "It is a huge, beautiful, relaxing garden."
It is one of the few buildings on this strip of Pioneer Street — home to Red Hook's only fully residential block — to sit on a such a large plot of land, she said of the 100-foot lot.
The first-floor, eat-in kitchen was renovated with top-of-the-line appliances a few months ago in the wake of Hurricane Sandy last year. There's a two-bedroom duplex and a one-bedroom income-producing rental on the top floor.
"It's a quiet, hidden treasure in Brooklyn," Sargeant said of the area.
Location: The quaint block is nestled between Red Hook Park on one end and Erie Basin's waterfront at the other end. Though the area was hit by Hurricane Sandy, many of the nearby trendy restaurants rebuilt and returned like Home/Made Brooklyn (which is down the block), Kevin's, Fort Defiance and the Good Fork. Fairway is just a few blocks away.
The nearest subway stop — the F/G at Smith-9th Street — is a bit of a hike at just under a mile, but there's a B61 stop up the block at the corner of Van Brunt.
Why put it on your open house calendar? The garden is an oasis, and the home is "priced really fair," Sargeant said, adding, "People who know Red Hook, love Red Hook."