The interior of this 1890s townhouse is awash with the detail expected of its era, including wainscoting, pocket doors, fretwork, six mantels and plentiful built-ins. At 99 Bainbridge Street in the Stuyvesant Heights Historic District, the house also still boasts some 19th century technology such as an intercom and working dumbwaiter, according to the listing.
In 1892 Magnus Dahlander, a prolific architect behind many of the ornate row houses in Bed Stuy, designed the house, along with its 32 neighbors for builder Walter F. Clayton. Dahlander included a mix of the popular styles of the period in the row, scattering Queen Anne, Renaissance and Romanesque Revival details along the blockfront. No. 99 has some Classical touches, including a door surround topped with a large anthemion and swags ornamenting the frieze. Ads for some of the houses in the row in 1894 pitched them as having “artistically carved fronts,” along with onyx fireplaces, dumbwaiters, “over 25 mirrors” and tiled bathrooms.
The two-family has a top floor rental with an owner’s triplex below, although some might use it as a single-family. While the listing photos don’t show all the wealth of details teased in the listing, there is still plenty on view on the parlor level, including fretwork and a bench at the entry; a pier mirror in the front parlor; and built-ins, stained glass and a columned mantel with mirror in the parlor at the rear. Four of the six mantels in the house have functioning gas fireplaces.
At the front of the garden level, the original dining room still boasts delicate plasterwork, another columned mantel, wainscoting, a plate shelf and, according to the listing, its 1890s elephant-hide textured wall covering. There is also a built-in sideboard with a mirrored back.
While a door on one side now leads to a full bath, the one on the other leads to a butler’s pantry with original cabinets and a sink. It opens into the eat-in kitchen, which has a tile floor, exposed brick wall and wood cabinets. The laundry room is at the rear in what was likely the original mudroom. The floor plan shows an original ice box in place, and the laundry is conveniently positioned not far from the laundry chute and the dumbwaiter.
The owner’s triplex has two bedrooms above the parlor level with a passthrough with sinks and cabinets in between. Both bedrooms have mantels and bay windows while the street-facing bedroom has the stained-glassed window positioned above the house’s entry.
On the top floor, a small kitchen is at the rear, with two bedrooms again linked by a passthrough and a third bedroom sized for a home office or study. Only one of the three full baths is shown and it has bits of old and new with a stained-glass window and original built-ins.
A rear yard with a combination of wood and chain-link fencing has planting beds along the side and a wooden dining platform with pergola.
While Dahlander provides a bit of an 1890s architectural pedigree to the house, in more recent history the property, which hasn’t changed hands since the 1990s, was home to Bed Stuy’s “Scooter Joe” Willins. In the 1970s he and partner Kenneth Kaufman were known as The Scooter Cops of Bed-Stuy, working with the community to fight crime in the neighborhood where he was born and raised.
Listed with Rodolfo Lucchese of Corcoran, the house is priced at $2.249 million. Worth the ask?
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