Landmarks to Consider Alterations to Truman Capote’s Old Brooklyn Heights House


One of Brooklyn’s most famous houses, and its most expensive, the grand Greek Revival at 70 Willow Street where Truman Capote once rented, may be in for some big changes. The owners, Grand Theft auto creator Dan Houser and his wife Krystyna, who purchased the house for a record breaking $12,500,000 in 2012, want to alter the side and rear facades of the 1839 house and excavate the backyard and install a pool.

Exactly what the alterations will entail and whether they will change the appearance of the exterior will be revealed at a hearing to consider the proposal Monday, January 6. The owners also plan to refurbish the front but we expect the new front door and ironwork will be indistinguishable from the existing one, since the house is landmarked. Inside, they are planning what sounds like a gut to us, with “new partitions, doors, flooring and interior finishes,” according to an alteration permit approved in October.

Here’s the full text of the notification on the LPC’s website: “Application is to replace front doors and ironwork, remove sills, strip paint, alter the side and rear facades, excavate the rear yard, install a shed, pool, and paving.”

The house is famous for its rotunda and sweeping circular staircase. Capote wrote and entertained on the back porch and had Jackie Kennedy over. Click through to see a photo of the building, including the detached side, taken in 1922.

Photo above by Nicholas Strini for PropertyShark; photo below via New York Public Library

70 Willow Street, 1922, NYPL

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