Here’s a circa 1840s two-family townhouse in the Brooklyn Heights Historic District that’s currently configured as a two-bedroom garden rental below a quadruplex. Located at 143 Willow Street, the 25-foot-wide, five-story home is in a prime location and has been with the same family since at least 1968.
This one is something of a stylistic mishmash, with Greek Revival elements, what are likely anachronistic Federal elements and later Victorian ones as well, as far as we can see. The house may have received a neo-Colonial update sometime in the early 20th century, old photos and records suggest.
The parlor and garden levels are 50 feet deep, thanks to an extension. The front parlor boasts a wood-burning fireplace and herringbone wood floors.
In the rear addition is the modern kitchen, which has been recently renovated with minimal, clean surfaces. There’s an aqua blue backsplash behind the stove, a lot of cabinet space both above and below and what appear to be new appliances.
There’s also a spacious dining room with fireplace and a powder room on this level. A room next to the kitchen leads out onto a terrace with stairs down to the garden.
A multitude of bedrooms and closets populate the upper three stories. The third floor could function as a master suite, with a library in front and bedroom and large terrace in the rear. Luxuriously, the full bath on this floor opens to the terrace (as well as the hall). The bedroom has two walk-in closets that serve as a pass-through to the library. The latter has a full wall of windows, built-in bookshelves and another wood-burning fireplace.
Three bedrooms can be found on the fourth floor, one quite small and another boasting a maze of closets. There are lovely, and likely original, wide floorboards in the beamed attic, which currently has three small bedrooms, a play area and a full bath.
Only the rental unit currently has laundry, and the whole home has central air, according to the listing.
The current owner is the family of lawyer John Doar, who worked on civil rights cases under presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson and was involved in the formation of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Development Corporation. Distinguished preservationist Otis Pratt Pearsall rented an apartment in the house in the late 1950s.
Corcoran’s James Cornell and Leslie Marshall have the listing, which is asking $9.75 million. Do you think they’ll get their ask?
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