It needs a bit of a polish but this 1890s Bed Stuy row house offers remarkably intact details such as plasterwork, mantels, a pier mirror and wainscoting.
The house at 598 MacDonough Street is one of a row with alternating brownstone and limestone facades, likely dating to 1891. That year, new building records and newspaper advertisements show builder Thomas H. Radcliff constructing and selling a number of two and three story houses on the blockfront. Just a few years later the Brooklyn Daily Eagle was lauding MacDonough Street (then spelled McDonough) as likely containing “more distinctive features than any other street in the city” with a diversity of architecture providing a “relief to the eye” and making it easier, the paper speculated, for the homeowner to identify their own property after a late night of work.
No. 598 currently stands out with a brightly painted yellow facade but there’s original detail there, including a rusticated brownstone basement, foliate ornament between the windows of the parlor level and a deep bracketed cornice incorporating the upper story windows.
Inside, it’s divided up into two duplexes, although the floor plan included in the listing seems to have left out most of one of the building’s four floors. The listing photos show mainly the lower duplex, which includes the parlor level. Surviving detail includes the pier mirror, plasterwork and a fireplace with mirrored overmantel. On the garden floor, the original dining room still has its wainscoting, a built-in china cabinet and mantel with tile surround but it’s set up as a bedroom with an en suite bath and walk-in closet.
The kitchens both look in need of attention — the lower one appears to be missing a few minor elements, like cabinet hardware. Just two of the four full bathrooms are shown and they appear in working order although perhaps ready for a style upgrade.
Outside is a rear garden with potential with a large concrete patio and some planting beds.
The house last sold in 2003 for $478,950. Harun S. Henry of Coldwell Banker Reliable has the current listing and it is priced at $1.795 million. Worth the ask?
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