The House That Helped Launch a Brownstone Revolution Is for Sale

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The front hall still has its original painted decoration from 1886. The parlor floor is described as “museum quality” — in fact, photos of the whole house are in the Brooklyn Museum’s archives. Four pages in the brownstoner bible “Bricks and Brownstone” show the house’s rear parlor, entry way, and wood work and plaster details. The Evelyn and Everett Ortner house is for sale. You might say this house, at 272 Berkeley Place, saved Park Slope and launched the brownstone movement across the country.

The house is on the market following the death of Everett Ortner last year. (Evelyn Ortner died in 2006; the couple left no immediate family.) Passionate historic preservationists, their accomplishments, well-documented in countless articles, are almost too many to mention. Evelyn Ortner’s obituary in the New York Times said that she, along with her husband, “was among the first, the most vocal and the most effective champions of the brownstone revival that spread from Brooklyn to the rest of the country.” Most crucially, she “did much of the historical research that persuaded the New York City Landmarks Preservation Committee to designate the Park Slope historic district in 1973.”

As for the house, it comes with one, presumably rent controlled, occupant. We were surprised to see the layout is not original on every floor. The kitchen was moved upstairs and replaced by a ground-floor bedroom. The upstairs floors appear to have lost their pass-throughs (going by the floor plan). The house is configured with rentals in the front rooms of the top and third floors. The “printable feature sheet,” well worth reading, that accompanies the listing notes the house contains original gas fixtures (adapted for electricity), the original furnace (still working), and a “historic inclinator,” aka a staircase lift for handicapped accessibility, dating from the 1920s. Click through to the jump for some photos of the interior.

The Ortners bought it in 1963 for $32,000. We hope whoever buys it next won’t paint over the front hall. Oh, by the way, the new price is $4,800,000.

272 Berkeley Place Listing [Coldwell Banker Bellmarc/Vandenberg]
Photo above by PropertyShark

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