You pretty much step back in time walking into this Bedford-Stuyvesant brownstone, located in the eastern portion of the neighborhood at 538 Decatur Street. It is an 1895 Renaissance Revival, bay-fronted brownstone that is 18 feet wide with three stories and a two-story extension. When the listing brags that the interior boasts an “astonishing wealth of original detail” they aren’t kidding–everything from carved fireplace mantles to oak pocket doors to beveled glass. The home even has its original “speaking tubes,” which the original owners would have used to call to servants working on the garden floor of the home.
If you’re going to inhabit a couple of floors of a brownstone, the top choice is definitely a parlor-garden combo; you get the grandeur of high ceilings, huge rooms and lots of light on the parlor floor, and then–ideally–you get a lower level that opens out to a pretty backyard. If you’re extra lucky, the parlor floor has access down to the yard as well. This beautifully-restored duplex at 75 Willoughby Avenue in Fort Greene is just that perfect combination–hence the $7K a month rent. But what you get–three bedrooms, two baths, a gorgeous private backyard accessible from both floors in a mint-condition historic townhouse with all the trimmings–is about as good as it gets.