BROOKLYN — Who doesn't love swooning over historic Brooklyn townhouses, thoughtfully renovated and modernized for today's buyer? These townhouses all received high-end renovations without compromising details like parquet floors, fireplaces and plasterwork. All three will show off their impressive interiors — with equally impressive price tags — at open houses this weekend.
183 Halsey St., Bedford-Stuyvesant
6 Bedrooms/3.5 baths
Approximately 3,224 square feet
Open House: Sunday, May 15, 3:45-5:00 p.m.
Lowdown: The owners of this Bed-Stuy townhouse, one of whom is a designer, embarked on a renovation “paying attention to restoration, not just renovation” explained Douglas Elliman broker Maureen Hogan. When they bought the property, she said, it was “just a wreck.”
Many townhouses in the neighborhood — which has seen a surge in prices and popularity — have been gutted of their historic details, Hogan noted.
“Developers are knocking a condo inside the facade... the trend is to destroy the interior,” she said.
But the owners of this house, who renovated several properties before this, intended to “keep everything they could.”
Historic details like pocket doors, Victorian mantels, shutters and parquet floors were restored, alongside modern additions like a split system air conditioning, radiant heat in the bathrooms and a new kitchen.
“[The owner] is a serious cook, so everything is well thought out,” said Hogan.
The owner's triplex sits above a ground-floor apartment, which is also renovated.
“They created a downstairs apartment that could be incorporated back into the house,” Hogan said.
Special attention was paid to the backyard, which was landscaped by someone associated with the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. A deck off the parlor floor kitchen leads down to a stone patio surrounded by greenery.
The home hit the market this March asking $2.749 million. Hogan said that “people have loved it but were not ready to pull the trigger yet.” About two weeks ago, they decreased the price by 7%.
Location: This home is located within a newly-designated Bedford Historic District.
“The district has some of the best housing stock in Bed-Stuy,” Hogan said. It's across the street from a charter school and park but stays pretty quiet, according to Hogan. The A/C trains at Nostrand Ave. are three blocks away.
Why put it on your open house calendar? “It will really stand out as a restoration, not just a renovation,” Hogan said.
357 Hoyt St., Carroll Gardens
Three bedrooms/Three baths
Approximately 2,350 square feet
Open House: Sunday, May 15, 12–2:00 p.m.
Lowdown: If you're a fan of antiques and unique furniture, this home has owners who plan to pass some down to the next buyer.
Both New Orleans natives, they collect antiques and have “an eye for preservation,” said Corcoran broker Brian Babst. The result, he said, is an interior decorated with vintage fixtures and furniture, mixed with the original historic details of the home.
The owners plan to leave two 7-foot-tall mirrors, placed above fireplaces in the parlor, to a buyer. A large apothecary cabinet, which lines the formal dining room, will be left as well.
In a renovation about five years ago, the owners restored plank floors, tin ceilings and moldings as well as the original light fixtures, designed for both gas and electricity.
Upgrades included a new kitchen, marble bathrooms and central air.
This will be the first open house. In two days after the listing the property, Babst said that he “heard from about 25 people.”
Location: The townhouse, Babst said, faces an intersection where Carroll Street approaches Hoyt Street. The lack of buildings around the intersection means that the home looks out onto open sky, rather than a row of houses. The neighborhood's main drag of Smith Street and the F/G trains at the Carroll St. station are a block away.
Why put it on your open house calendar? “It's a beautifully maintained house with a fair asking price,” Babst said.
518 Second St., Park Slope
5 bedrooms/3.5 baths
Approximately 3,440 square feet
Open House: Sunday, May 8, 2:30-4:00 p.m.
Lowdown: The owners of this single-family home took on a local architect, Kimberly Neuhaus of Neuhaus Design, to renovate about four years ago.
“She's known for her thoughtful, well-designed townhouses,” said Brown Harris Stevens broker Lee Solomon. “It's a very cohesive home,” she said of the final product.
Some of the historic details were given new life: the parquet floors were stained a deep walnut color. Other details were restored, like the triple bay windows on the parlor floor and the pocket shutters on the bottom three floors of the house.
Solomon's favorite interior detail is the curve of the plasterwork where the walls meet the ceiling.
“It's a level of craftsmanship that's hard to recreate today,” she said.
One of the owners, a writer, asked that special attention be paid to her home office, located at the back of the parlor floor. Built-in shelving lines the wall, and a window seat looks out onto the backyard garden.
Right next to the office is a deck leading down to the garden. The deck has its own watering system for potted plants, as well as a pergola draped in wisteria. The backyard has two levels, one of which is used as a patio while the other is used for gardening.
“People at the open houses have appreciated the multiple outdoor spaces,” Solomon said.
Location: The townhouse is located right around the corner from Seventh Avenue, one of the neighborhood's main drags. It's two blocks from Prospect Park and seven blocks to the F/G train at Seventh Avenue and Ninth Street
Why put it on your open house calendar? “You can come in and enjoy the home right away,” Solomon said, noting that the renovation left it move-in ready.