Our Renovation Diary has been following 6sqft writer Michelle Cohen as she takes on the challenge of transforming a Brooklyn townhouse in the historic Clinton Hill neighborhood into a site-sensitive modern home. She previously shared plans for the 150-year-old building and the first big steps she and her husband, a public health lawyer and antique lighting dealer, have taken to make their dream home a reality, including two years of hunting, planning the renovation, and assembling the professionals needed to make it happen (and how the homeowners made the best of all the waiting time). With Landmarks’ signoff and permits in hand, a year-long renovation began. Below, the results, with plenty of hindsight, advice, resources and construction photos on the way.
The “Law & Order: SVU” star and her husband, actor Peter Hermann, who bought the stunning Upper West Side brownstone for $10.7 million in 2012, had hoped to make it a $10.75 million brownstone when they put it on the market last fall. After a price cut to an unprofitable $9.75 million, the six-story, 6,000+ square-foot home at 45 West 84th Street is in contract, the New York Post reports. The couple reportedly decided to sell because their family needs have changed, though they’ve said they plan on staying in their beloved neighborhood.
Homes along the coveted tree-lined Convent Avenue in Hamilton Heights rarely become available, but here’s a chance to own a piece of NYC history. The five-bedroom brownstone at 325 Convent Avenue just hit the market with an asking price of $3,850,000. The last time this property sold was back in 2001 when it was snagged for a mere $585,000! This 4,500-square-foot brownstone is a fantastic investment filled with original details, a beautiful garden, and a manicured front lawn.
It’s hard to believe actress Mariska Hargitay has been starring as NYPD Lieutenant Olivia Benson on “Law & Order: SVU” for nearly two decades, but when it comes to her living situation, she likes to change things up a bit more. She and her husband, actor Peter Hermann, bought a stunning Upper West Side brownstone for $10.7 million in 2012, and they’ve now put it on the market for $10.75 million. Hermann told the Wall Street Journal that they’ve decided to sell because their “family needs have changed,” but they’d remain in the neighborhood. The six-story, 6,000+ square-foot home is located at 45 West 84th Street, between Central Park West and Columbus, and is “loaded with color and vibrancy,” according to Hermann, thanks to a collaboration with designer Jeffrey Bilhuber.
In the picture-perfect Brooklyn neighborhood of Carroll Gardens, a charming four-bedroom townhouse at 207 President Street has hit the market for $3.475 million. Built in 1890, the home boasts stunning architectural details like arched doorways, raw ceiling beams, exposed ductwork, rustic brick walls, and tin ceilings, as well as coveted outdoor space and a deck that overlooks the garden.
This palatial five-story, 19th-century brownstone at 13 Monroe Place in Brooklyn Heights is a study in meticulously preserved historic detail integrated into a crisp, livable setting of all-American decor. After an 18-month renovation, the nearly 6,000-square-foot Yankee Doodle Dandy of a home appeared in Swedish Elle Decor, Paris Vogue, and MilK Magazine. Asking $10.5 million, the legal two-family dwelling is currently being used as a single-family home, complete with deck, backyard, gym, media room, and six bedrooms.
Just two blocks from Prospect Park, this four-story brownstone is rich with original details as well as recent additions. The home is right at the edge of the Park Slope Historic District and, according to the designation report, is a neo-Italian Renaissance brownstone built circa 1895 by one Walter M. Coats. The home has had the same owners for decades and is currently configured as an owner’s triplex over a garden rental with private entrance, and it’s asking just under $4 million.
Holly Hunter seems to be a perennial house hunter. In 2014, the Academy Award-winning actress sold her Greenwich Village apartment for $7.6 million. Now, she’s selling again, according to the Post. Hunter has just listed her 19th-century Brooklyn brownstone at 20 South Oxford Street, half a block away from Fort Greene Park, for $4.5 million. Built in 1864, the four-bedroom Italianate home is filled with original details.
Photo by Kevin Kunstadt
LIGHT AND AIR, better known as L/AND/A, is a New York-based architecture and design studio led by architect and artist Shane Neufeld. Established in 2017, L/AND/A takes a “primal approach” to architecture by reducing design to its essential components to find clarity in a hectic world. Neufeld believes, “architecture is most powerful when elemental, and that spatial clarity and specificity have the potential to shape distinct experiences that ultimately enrich our lives- reconnecting people to their environments in meaningful and surprising ways.” This is just what Neufeld has done in his most recent project.
When Clem Labine bought the townhouse at 199 Berkeley Place in Park Slope for $25,000 back in 1966, Brooklyn was a very different place. Among the original wave of “brownstoners” who bought dilapidated townhomes to give themselves more living space and put years of sweat equity into restoring them, Labine, now 81, went on to found Old-House Journal (“Restoration and Maintenance Techniques for the Antique House”), and live in the painstakingly-preserved home for over 50 years (h/t Brownstoner). The Neo-Grec-style house was was built in 1883 along with 10 other homes. A much-subdivided rental SRO when Labine rescued it, it’s now an impressive two-family home listed for $3.895 million.