As one of a trio of distinctive townhouses on an almost-hidden historic Brooklyn Heights street known by locals as Willowtown, the house at 44 Willow Place is a gift of mid-20th-century architecture and holds a spot on the star map for modern house lovers–and it’s on the market for $3.9 million. Designed by the beloved local architect duo Joseph and Mary Merz in 1965 for Ron and Hortense Clyne, the home is a timeless example of Modernist design as both visually appealing and ultimately livable. Treasured by the community as both brilliant designers and active preservationists, the architects also built the better-known home at 40 Willow Place along with a house at number 48.
Looking as fresh and sophisticated now as it did in the sixties, the house combines symmetry and minimalism with the authenticity of natural and well-considered materials and the open feel of a loft-like space. In the loft spirit the home includes a design workspace that was made for the original homeowner, an artist whose work is in the Smithsonian collection; the home also served as a gallery for the couple’s art collection.
The Merz homes are instantly recognizable by their distinctive facade elements. Here, floor-to-ceiling windows are composed of dawn redwood. A raised roof light on the upper floor creates an intriguing play of light throughout the house as the sun travels from east to west overhead.
With approximately 2,730 square feet of living space, the house is comprised of two duplex apartments. The larger of the two occupies the second and third floors. A smaller duplex on the rear street and garden levels opens to a private garden and is currently used as a rental property. Heat and air conditioning are metered separately for each duplex.
The home’s kitchen is both classic mid-century and on-trend for today’s use of color and clean-crisp lines.
A basement with mechanicals and storage space sits below the street level entrance as part of the home’s design, which also seamlessly fits parking for one car.
- The High and Low: Architecturally Distinct Modern Townhouse in Brownstone Brooklyn
- Unique “Stone” House Struggles on the Market, Asking $7.5 Million
- Mad for Modern: NYC Homes That Are Cooler Than Don Draper’s Park Avenue Pad
Images courtesy or Brown Harris Stevens.
Neighborhoods : Brooklyn Heights