Longtime Greenpoint residents may be fascinated to peek behind the facade of this freestanding Italianate brick house on Oak Street. A narrow walkway on the right side yields an entire second house in back. Both date from around the 1860s, historic maps reveal.
Inside, they are renovated in a chic style that’s still in keeping with the character of both houses. With three units in total, the property could make a sweet multi-generational family compound and/or owner’s unit plus a rental or two.
The building visible from the street appears well preserved with its wood Italianate cornice, brownstone trim and floor-to-ceiling windows. Except for a new front door, brownstone course on the bottom floor and replacement steps, it looks much as it did in its circa 1940 tax photo.
The interior is set up as a duplex over a garden-level simplex, both with smartly designed kitchens and bathrooms. The duplex has a wood-burning fireplace with a marble Italianate mantel and lots of convenient built-ins.
Original details include wood floors in the living room, pocket doors, white-painted wide-plank floors in the entry hall, a staircase with a handsome newel and balusters, and window and door surrounds. The living room has built-in bookshelves beside the mantel.
The kitchen is situated in the rear parlor, and it’s a looker with wood floors, a tin ceiling and cupboards in a fashionable Plain English style painted charcoal and Delft blue. Some may quibble with the peninsula jutting into the room.
Potentially, the kitchen could be moved into the room next door, currently occupied by the office, adding a door, and the full rear parlor could serve as a full dining room with fluidity between all three rooms.
Three bedrooms, a full bath, and four closets occupy the top floor. The bathroom is spare yet luxurious, with a large original window, traditional white porcelain hexagonal floor tile and a marble-topped vanity painted a fashionable lichen green.
Downstairs is a three-room floor-through apartment with built-ins. The kitchen far exceeds rental expectations with cork floors, simple white cabinetry, built-in storage and appliances including a dishwasher, and a huge Viking stove.
Across the yard — a concrete patio with bed of ivy and a tree — is the second house, a wood frame two-story with two rooms over two rooms. Downstairs is a coat closet, living room, kitchen and the only bathroom. Upstairs are two bedrooms and a closet. The mostly white finishes — including subway tile and hex tile, plus a fun vintage black and red check linoleum floor in the kitchen — resemble those in the main house, but more in line with a rental unit.
The second house has its own private backyard, a cute garden with wood-edged gravel and mossy brick paths, a patio with a gas barbecue and plant beds.
Located just outside the Greenpoint Historic District, which starts down the block, near the former Greenpoint Home for the Aged, there’s always a danger that apartment houses could sprout up in this fashionable stretch of Greenpoint (or a developer raze this charming duo to build one). Although the house once succumbed to a forced bank sale in the context of the legendary 1894 financial crisis, historians might be interested to know, 112 Oak has been the same family since 1987.
An open house by appointment is scheduled for today, Wednesday, February 19, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Listed by Yuval Vidal and Esther Patten of Compass, the house is asking $2.8 million. How would you evaluate this one?
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