Complain as we might about prices — and we do, oh we do — this two-bedroom in a 1938 apartment building on Avenue H in Midwood is not only roomy and affordable but also stylish, featuring a streamlined kitchen that would be the envy of your most staunchly Manhattan-centric friends, if you could only get them to come. It fairly belts out the tune of the Rodgers and Hart song of that era about the proximity, “Our Flatbush flat, I guess/ Will be a great success/ More or less.”
Designed by Kavy & Kavovitt, perhaps best known for their Brighton Beach Apartments and hundreds of others in Brooklyn and Queens, 901 Avenue H is advertised in the real estate brochures of its time as The Colonial House, with a grandly columned portico entry to match. Among its touted features, it claimed the 84 units had more closets than rooms — in this one we count a six to five ratio in favor of closets. The bathroom features detergent-blue tiles and, back in the day, what is described in the brochure as a Venetian mirrored medicine cabinet. There’s even an Interphone system, which was almost like the Internet or Amazon Echo but with a handset attached to the wall and you have to talk into it. It’s all very fancy.
In the updated kitchen, the fixtures have equally timeless Art Deco styling, with two sinks, a dishwasher, two walls of cabinets, concrete counters and a tiered breakfast bar with Jazz Age rounded edges facing two corner windows. The layout is all but Bauhaus rational, with a foyer-slash-gallery-slash-dining room that allows “direct access to each room,” in the marketing speak of the time.
The living room is sunken, with an arched opening and oak parquet floors. There is a linen closet and, according to the brochure, built-in clothes hampers.
The listing says 1,000 square feet, and we believe it. Sarah Chamberlin and Kirsten Syrett are showing it for Compass. The place rents for $1,950 and is also apparently for sale for $485,000. Ready to turn it into, in the words of Rodgers and Hart, your isle of joy?
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