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Clinton Hill, Cool Listings, Historic Homes

136 Clinton Avenue, Clinton Hill, Wallabout

Listing images by Elizabeth Dooley

Here’s a rare chance to own one of the city’s most historic homes, the Lefferts-Laidlaw House at 136 Clinton Avenue in Clinton Hill (and part of the Wallabout Historic District). Built around 1836, the home “typified the villas that were erected in Brooklyn’s early suburbs in the early-to-mid nineteenth century” and might be the “only remaining temple-fronted Greek Revival style residence in Kings County,” according to the 2001 designation report. It’s become known as one of the most haunted houses in the city, thanks to stories of “doorbells rung, doors rattled” on a nightly basis in the late 19th century—but the tongue-in-cheek tone of the original New York Times reports is hard to miss. Perhaps the scariest thing left about it is the asking price. The home has been on and off the market for years, last seeking $4.5 million in 2016. Now, the property is back for a significantly reduced $3.6 million.

Take the tour

Clinton Hill, Cool Listings, Interiors

336 Park Avenue, Clinton Hill, Wallabout

Adjacent to Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, and the Brooklyn Navy Yard is one of Brooklyn’s oldest but least known neighborhoods: Wallabout. Though somewhat isolated due to its lack of public transportation, the area boasts a rich history dating back to the 17th century. It was once home to the area’s second largest producer of chocolate (second only to Hershey’s), Brooklyn’s first free African-American school, and where Walt Whitman wrote the first edition of “Leaves of Grass” while living at 99 Ryerson Street. Wallabout contains the largest concentration of pre-Civil War wood-frame houses in the city, but amid the historic homes are some contemporary gems, like this 2011 metal-clad townhouse at 336 Park Avenue. The 2,500 square-foot property—complete with a side yard, a roof terrace, and two parking spots—is currently on the market for $2,200,000.

Take a look inside

Celebrities, Clinton Hill, Interiors

119 Vanderbilt, Clinton Hill, townhouses, Lake Bell, Celebrities, Cool listings, Wallabout, historic homes, outdoor spaces, interiors, lake bell home

Back in 2013 director/actress/screenwriter Lake Bell and tattoo artist to the stars Scott Campbell bought this quaint townhouse in north Clinton Hill in the Wallabout Historic District for $1.55 million. Three years, a baby and some creative renovations later they listed the home at 119 Vanderbilt Avenue for an ambitious $3 million. After a price cut last November to $2.55 million and a broker switch, the home with the enchanted Zen garden and top-floor atelier is now asking $2.3 million with new photos to boot.

Check out the cool, quirky townhouse interiors

Clinton Hill, Cool Listings, Historic Homes, navy yard, Quirky Homes

136 Clinton Avenue, historic homes, cool listings, townhouse, clinton hill, quirky homes, haunted house

Though we can see how the otherwise potential-filled historic–and allegedly haunted–Lefferts-Laidlaw mansion at 136 Clinton Avenue in the Clinton Hill/Navy Yard/Wallabout neighborhood may terrify prospective buyers with an ask of $4.499 million, an 1878 New York Times account describes the persistent and mysterious ring-and-run situation that apparently plagued the home’s then-resident, Edward F. Smith. Neither crafty attempts to discover who was responsible for “doorbells rung, doors rattled” on a nightly basis and a brick hurled through a window, nor police intervention could produce a culprit. The house became a fixture on the map of spiritualists who held seances on the sidewalk. Locals suggested the pesky poltergeist might be either a lawyer who had committed suicide on the premises, or, as Mr. Smith suggested (possibly with some sarcasm attached as it was, after all, Brooklyn), Satan.

Does this house look spooky to you?

Featured Story

Features, Goldilocks Blocks, Historic Homes, Neighborhoods

Goldilocks Blocks: Vanderbilt Avenue in Wallabout, Brooklyn

By Michelle Cohen, Mon, September 29, 2014

Wallabout, Fort Greene, historic homes, wood frame house, Vanderbilt Avenue

Between hyper-developed hotspots, main drags in up-and-comers, and those genuinely avoidable areas, there can often be found a city’s “just-right” zones. They aren’t commonly known, but these micro-neighborhoods often hide within them real estate gems coupled with perfectly offbeat vibes. Continuing our Goldilocks Blocks series, this week we turn to Brooklyn.

The culturally rich, architecturally stunning Brooklyn neighborhoods of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill need little introduction. The Brooklyn Navy Yard to the north is busily growing as a start-up business incubator and creative and commercial hub. An “in-between” zone—the sort of area that engenders a question mark and a furrowed brow when perusing neighborhood maps—lies just north of Myrtle Avenue and south of the Navy Yard.

Known as Wallabout, the area was named for Wallabout Bay to the north, much of which was filled in to create the Navy Yard in the 19th century. Unique among its neighbors, a block-long stretch of this border district feels more like a small-town side street than a growing urban crossroads.

Find out what makes this historic block so special, and why it’s likely to stay that way.

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