81 Hanson Place (L); 21 State Street (R)
Townhouses are having a moment. Manhattan’s most lavish single-family homes are top-ticket trophies for the superwealthy. And families who’ve outgrown their apartments, investors banking on rising rents, and a celebrity or two, are snapping up brownstones on leafy Brooklyn blocks. But a handful of more adventurous buyers — seeking space and privacy and possessed of some architectural vision — chose the less-traveled road of creating modern-design homes on the decidedly un-trendy historic blocks of brownstone Brooklyn many decades ago. On the market now is the rare pair below.
The first, more of a compound than merely a house, has a creative pedigree and architectural icon status (and a $13 million price tag). This combination of a 1892 school building and the townhouse next door sits among the impressively ornate 19th-century mansions of Fort Greene and boasts an un-missable modern extension and peerless minimalist interior, not to mention sheer size. The second is a more modest home–for a relatively more modest $3.5 million–but is also a unique modern dwelling with a laid-back and livable interior on a coveted tree-lined block of historic Brooklyn Heights.