When I moved to this borough about 4 years ago, I’ll admit that I didn’t know very much about it. I knew that most of my family landed here after leaving Ireland about three generations ago. And that some areas were notoriously not that desirable while other areas very much were. I also knew that very good pizza was easy to come by.
But I did not know anything about brownstones. Fortunately, Charlie has turned out to be a wealth of information in that department and has spent the last couple of years patiently imparting his real estate wisdom and knowledge of historical preservation on me. Two weeks ago, he became the very proud owner of one such regal brownstone and, if you’re interested, I’d like to share what one of these baby browns looks like on the inside after many layers of paint and years of carpets (I hear the ’70s calling) and decades of renters. And, if you want to stick around long enough (read: a few months), I’d also like to share what one of these buildings can look like after a painstaking and meticulous renovation.
He’s unlocking the door and ready for the cleanup. This beast of a brownstone has four floors in total. The door Charlie is unlocking here leads to the garden floor and then there are three floors towering above.One of seven marble fireplaces in the building. The one pictured here is on the back parlor floor. Each floor has two large rooms on either end and, if you can imagine, a fireplace in each room. I can’t even fathom a time when a building of this size was heated using fireplaces. If this photo makes your eyes burn, it might be because of the exceptionally pepto bismol pink walls. Also note the salvaged molding on the floor. This will be incorporated back into the building at a later date.I’m still working to figure out what year this sink might be from. But, it should be noted that this room is also currently home to a similarly old and beautiful white stove as well as a hulking, jaw-dropping cast iron stove that reaches almost to the ceiling. This cast iron behemoth is most definitely one of the oldest things in the building (aside from the building itself) and we are determined to find out its origins. Pictures of these will come next time. (Am I building the suspense for Brownstone Part II? Is it working yet?)The original grand staircase just waiting to be restored and returned to its original glory.The pepto pink paint meets its match with a good dousing of paint stripper.
Take a good look at the intact ceiling up there. Perfection.
Now take a look at the ceiling on the other half of the same room. Far from perfect. But Charlie has plenty of tricks up his sleeve. Just you wait and see.
if you’ve scrolled this far, I’m going to guess that you most likely are leaving with no true sense of the building’s layout. And, well, let’s be honest here. That’s because I really have not done this building any sort of justice. This is more a hodge podge of photos that I hope to expand upon and, eventually, I plan to give you a better picture of this little corner of Brownstone Brooklyn.