Our ongoing series “My sqft” checks out the homes of 6sqft’s friends and fellow New Yorkers across all the boroughs. Our latest interior adventure brings us to the landmarked Ditmas Park home of architectural preservationist Norma Barbacci. Want to see your home featured here? Get in touch!
Michelle Williams’ move to Ditmas Park may have put the neighborhood on the real estate map, but for those in the know, the area’s history is far more profound than any of its celebrity residents. More than a century ago, Ditmas Park was not much more than farmland, but with the arrival of the subway also came interest from developers. One notable developer who descended upon the area was Dean Alvord. In 1899, Alvord initiated a new housing project that he envisioned as a “park in the city” for the rich. What followed was the construction of a range of large and stately suburban-style houses, built in an assortment of styles, from Tudors to Victorians. The development was a great success, and even drew in Manhattan’s upper crust (among them Guggenheims and the Gillettes). However, as New York declined in the 70s and 80s, so did Ditmas Park. But fast-forward a few decades you’ll come to seen an area that is experiencing a revival. Though it admittedly remains quite sleepy when compared to other burgeoning Brooklyn neighborhoods, Ditmas Park’s suburban vibes make it the ideal destination for city-loving families—particularly when its architecturally grand proportions are taken into account.
In this My sqft feature, we check out one urban family’s lovely home, a landmarked wood construction owned by preservation architect Norma Barbacci and her husband, architectural conservator Glenn Boornazian. The pair purchased the house in 2004 and raised two children within its historic walls. Ahead Norma takes us through the space—which maintains most of its 1903 character—and introduces us to the Ditmas Park of 2016.
Go inside the home here
If you think it’s pretty cool that Michelle Williams bought an historic townhouse in Prospect Park South and is restoring it to its former glory, here’s a chance to live across the street at 1409 Albemarle Road–and maybe pick up a few renovation tips. You won’t need them, though, as the two-bedroom co-op has been thoroughly renovated by previous owners, so you can move right in. The picturesque yet convenient neighborhood is no secret, but nearby destinations like The Farm on Adderley, Lark cafe and a host of others continue to draw attention and new neighbors.
Check out this co-op in a landmarked building
There’s lots of big-name news happening in Ditmas Park this week. Just yesterday, 6sqft found out about Michelle Williams’ plans to renovate her Colonial Revival mansion in the neighborhood, and now the Observer reports that Aaron Dessner of Brooklyn-based band The National has sold his beautiful, historic home for $2.35 million.
The sale will affect the whole Grammy-nominated band, since their studio space is located in the converted garage. As the Observer notes, “A three-story Victorian-style house isn’t exactly where we pictured an indie rock band recording their album,” but nonetheless Dressner bought the 3,282-square-foot residence for $700,000 in 2003. He then renovated and restored it extensively, doing most of the work himself. He configured it as a two-family home and at one point rented out the top apartment to band co-founder Matt Berninger, who now lives in Prospect Heights.
Check out the entire property
This week, 6sqft is digging the freestanding Victorians that make up the Brooklyn neighborhood of Ditmas Park. Who wouldn’t, considering how charming the historic homes are, with front porches, lawns and plenty of luxurious space? This Victorian is located at 112 Marlborough Road, within the Prospect Park South enclave of the neighborhood. (It’s a historic district that was developed in 1899 by developer Dean Alvord, who purchased 60 acres of farmland to build rus in urbe, “the country in the city.”) The historic windows, stained glass and wood floors are still there, and the top-floor bedrooms sit under a pitched roof. But it’s also been renovated with recessed lighting, new sconces and pendants, and central AC and heat. It’ll cost you $2.825 million for such a lovely home base in Brooklyn.
See more of the interior
Ditmas Park is a magical neighborhood in New York City, filled with yards, front porches and beautiful freestanding Victorian homes. This is one of them, at 536 East 18th Street, and it is now on the market for $2.725 million. The exterior has been well kept, right down to the wood front porch. The interior has gone through a big renovation that hasn’t taken away all the historic details, but definitely opened up and modernized the house. (It last sold in 2012 for $1,299,000, probably before any reno.) The result is the best of both worlds: Historic Ditmas Park from the exterior, modern and hip Brooklyn inside.
Check out the renovation
This well-preserved two-and-a-half-story (plus basement), six-bedroom single-family Victorian house at 447 Rugby Road in Ditmas Park has a small-town vibe–from the big, wide front porch that’s just waiting for that porch swing to the very chill upstairs sun porch perfect for catching the last warm autumn rays. But there’s big-city subway access and plenty to do within a few blocks, and a citified price of $1.95 million, a number that wouldn’t have been seen in this lovely and historic neighborhood a few years back.
Tour this pretty piece of Brooklyn history
, Tue, September 29, 2015
While we’re used too seeing renovated houses with gorgeous details and top-of-the-line finishes, it’s not as often we see one that’s modern and fresh, but also feels like a well-loved home. The 1902 Victorian at 210 Stratford Road is that rare house. According to the listing (h/t Brownstoner), it was “lovingly restored and renovated by two artists,” which explains the perfect blend of cozy and cool evident on every floor of this two-family, three-story Ditmas Park home on the market for $2.35 million.
Take the tour
The Brooklyn neighborhood of Ditmas Park is known for its freestanding houses and expansive front yards. It’s a lot more like suburbia than New York City, but that’s why so many people love the area. This home at 235 Stratford Road has some amazing green spaces to show off–a lush front yard that’s literally overflowing with plants, a wraparound porch, a sunroom, a patio, a grassy backyard and a garage that’s been converted to an artist studio. We officially declare this home the best place to enjoy this summer in New York. Now, you just need $2.55 million to buy it.
It’s hard not to fall in love with this freestanding Victorian at 770 Rugby Road in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn. The house has had the same owner for more than 50 years, and only a few owners since it was built in 1905. The interior is chock full of well-kept period details, not to mention a grassy lawn and a front porch. Are you falling as hard as we are? It’s on the market now for $2.195 million.
See more interior photos
Let’s take a trip to the quiet, tree-lined streets of Victorian Flatbush where a 111-year-old home in the Fiske Terrace-Midwood Park landmarked historic district awaits, asking $2.275 million. This quarter-acre lot is large enough for a pool and a guesthouse or your own little secret garden. And while the curb appeal sets the bar high, the inside takes it to a new level, blending old-world charm with modern updates.
More pics inside
Sometimes finding your dream home starts with a diamond in the rough. For those willing to put in a little sweat equity, that grubby little rock can be polished to perfection, revealing a rare gem. Okay, this home isn’t exactly a grubby little rock. It’s actually a stately Victorian on one of Ditmas Park’s best blocks. The $2.199 million house is on the market for the first time in 24 years—and it definitely looks like it hasn’t been updated during that time. But in every ugly duckling there’s a beautiful swan and this five-bedroom home’s potential is undeniable.
Take a look, here
Ditmas Park is like the love song of Brooklyn. Okay well maybe not, but this Craftsman is a seriously romantic piece of property to say the least. The single-family home was built in 1907 and is located at 633 East 19th Street in the recently designated Fisk Terrace-Midwood Park Historic District. The property is currently listed for $1.75 million, and everything from the tiger oak mahogany staircase to the extra large backyard is a beautiful example of what makes Craftsmans so desirable.
See more of the historic home here
, Tue, September 23, 2014
We have a feeling well-known architects David H. Sherman, of Abelow Sherman Architects, and his wife Benita Welch, a Principal at Gerner Kronick + Valcarcel Architects, will give the interior of their new home a fresh coat of paint before settling in…that is, unless they like the current bubble-gum-pink color scheme.
It makes perfect sense that the couple picked up this Victorian house in Ditmas Park for themselves and their two children, as Benita specializes in restoring historic homes, and David is known for his expertise working with NYC townhouses. According to city records filed today, they purchased 28 Waldorf Court for $1.41 million. Located just off Rugby Road (often considered the heart of Victorian Flatbush) on a highly desirable cul-de-sac, the five-bedroom home has been in the same family for 30 years.
Tour the home before it gets what’s sure to be a beautiful makeover
We tend to feature a lot of historic townhouses, and while we love these brownstone beauties, it’s always a treat when we come across the less-common Victorian home. Not surprisingly, this charming, free-standing house is located in Ditmas Park West, part of what is known as Victorian Flatbush. Built in 1905, the home at 454 Rugby Road recently sold for $1,975,000 million according to city records, almost $100,000 above the asking price and not far behind another recent Rugby Road sale that was one of the most expensive in the neighborhood to date.
See why this painted lady is a deserving member of Victorian Flatbush’s Million-Dollar Club
An adorable, historic, turn-of-the-century home modeled after a Swiss chalet has just sold for a record-breaking $2.1 million in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park South. Up until this point, the most expensive sale in the neighborhood was a $2 million sale from last year; however, records confirm that the 7BR/3.5BA home at 100 Rugby Road has edged out the competition by $100K.
Find out more about this historic record-breaker here