Own a brownstone or thinking you would like to? A new lecture series, Brownstone Prep, covers all the relevant topics regarding buying, renting, and living in a coveted Brooklyn brownstone, along with historical and architectural context.
The six-part series will present a different expert speaking on each of the following topics: History and architecture, evaluating a building, buying, repair and renovation, selling, and managing a historic townhouse property as a landlord.
Brownstoner author and historian Suzanne Spellen will cover the history of Park Slope and its buildings in the first lecture, “Brownstone Prep: A History.” She will also delve into the difference between limestones and brownstones, and why there was a sudden explosion of building in the area in the 1880s.
Each lecture will take place in a different historical building. The first will be held at Park Slope’s former Swedish American Athletic Club, famed for its basement bowling alley and 30-foot-long mahogany bar.
The series is filling a need, according to its creator, local real estate agent John Mazurek of Douglas Elliman, who said he wants to provide a pressure-free area for residents and other interested parties to ask any questions they like.
“Over the years, a great number of clients I’ve put in the neighborhood are always asking questions about brownstones in regards to history, renovating, maintenance, buying, etc.,” said Mazurek. “I thought it better to bring in experts in different fields so folks can hear advice and info straight from the horse’s mouth.”
Rick Weiss of Old House Inspection Company Inc. will give the second lecture, which will focus on how to evaluate a brownstone building. He’ll cover building inspections as well as how to research a building’s tax, permits and violation history using city records. That one will take place at the Old Stone House in Park Slope.
One of the later lectures will take place in a brownstone once owed by the Singer family of Singer sewing machine fame, said Mazurek.
The first event happens Thursday, November 17 at 7 p.m. at 267 6th Avenue in Park Slope. The second is set for mid-January. For more information or to reserve a seat, visit The Mazurek Team on Facebook. The Park Slope Civic Council is sponsoring the event, and Brownstoner is a media sponsor of the event.
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