The lavish details of this 1899 Axel Hedman-designed brownstone in the Stuyvesant Heights Historic District make it one of Brooklyn’s most coveted showpieces of the Renaissance Revival. 392 Stuyvesant Avenue has numerous fretwork screens; fluted, scrolled and wreathed moldings; seven original mantels, including three working gas fireplaces; a pier mirror with a built-in bench in the foyer; stained glass and a pier mirror with classical columns and griffin brackets in the parlor; inlaid and herringbone floors; a center hall stair; an original passthrough and built-in cabinets; and a window seat behind an elaborate fretwork screen in one of the bedrooms.
The two-family is configured as a floor-through apartment over a triplex. The drawback of the center hall stair is that it tends to squeeze out some of the living space and make everything except a garden floor rental awkward. A triplex over a garden floor rental is often a current solution to this predicament.
The passthroughs would originally have been installed with sinks, which are no longer in evidence, but that can be easily remedied, and the original kitchen was most likely in one of the rear rooms on the garden floor. It is now a somewhat meager strip in the hallway, which a new owner may want to redo, along with the bathrooms, none of which are pictured.
The facade is equally eclectic and detailed, displaying a mixture of brownstone on the ground level, a dogleg stoop and asymmetrical ornamentation associated with Queen Anne-style, and lines of rough hewn stone characteristic of the Romanesque Revival; neighbors exhibit white limestone popularized by the 1893 Columbia Exposition and associated with the Renaissance Revival.
392 Stuyvesant Avenue belongs to a row of 10 limestone and brownstone houses designed by Hedman and built by Walter F. Clayton, who had already constructed 25 row houses around the corner on Decatur Street, hiring Magnus Dahlander, a sometime partner of Hedman. The designation report describes some of the notable characteristics of Hedman’s design, such as the alternation between rounded and polygonal bays — this one is polygonal — which extend from one edge of the house to the stoop, and the elaborately decorated doorways.
The only title transfer record for the property on ACRIS is an estate sale in 1971, and the property has been in the same family ever since, so it is really a rare gem of a landmark building. Listed as five bedrooms and three baths by Walston Bobb-Semple with Urban View Realty, it will start showing on Sunday, February 24. It’s asking $2.699 million. What do you think will happen to it?
- Find Your Dream Home in Brooklyn and Beyond With the New Brownstoner Real Estate
- Walkabout: Axel Hedman, Brooklyn Architect
- Neo-Classical Row House by Axel Hedman With Central Air, Brighter Look Asks $4.895 Million