Walking by, you might not guess that behind the remarkably anodyne, standard-fare facade at 76 Green Street in Greenpoint is a sybaritic modern architectural fantasia — or that it replaced a rare, fully intact Greek Revival clapboard exterior with all its original details. The compound’s ultramodern renovation is beautiful, but it lost some historical character in the process, the price is extraordinary and, located close to the waterfront, it’s deep inside the flood zone.
The address was once home to a ship’s captain, according to the listing, from Patricia Vance of Douglas Elliman, but when and what documentation of it exists we know not. (We did, however, find mention of a ship joiner, a boarder who appears in the 1880 census.)
By about 1850, the neighborhood had become one of the centers of the booming steamship-building industry, fueled by cross-Atlantic trade and the Gold Rush in California, and soon to be further enlivened by fabrication of ironclad battleships and Civil War armaments in the 1860s.
We can confirm that the originally 22-foot-wide Greek Revival structure appears on maps by 1868, and certainly the docks had been built up and streets carved on top of the filled-in wetlands by the 1840s. Going by details in old photos and floor plans, the standalone house could potentially date from the 1840s (or the 1830s or 1850s).
The stark contrast between old and new is striking. A 2005 PropertyShark photo viewed at high resolution most clearly shows the original Greek Revival clapboard exterior, with its dentil molding, pilasters, subtle ear moldings, recessed entrance and sidelights.
The house is now taller, with light-gray siding, a streamlined side bump-out, a tall concrete stoop with minimal iron railings, and a Permastone base. Hinting at the transformation within are a fancy custom wood entry door and matching trash bin, a steel-enclosed plant bed, and black-framed windows.
The current owner is a well-known fashion stylist, who purchased it in 2014 for $1.67 million and spent the last five years undertaking a renovation that involved three contractors, before being featured in Architectural Digest in April. Now, five months later, it’s for sale.
The complex comprises a triplex with a detached backyard studio and a rental apartment that occupies a portion of the garden floor.
The triplex opens into an open-plan great room with white walls and wood herringbone floors. The living area has a modern marble mantel around a wood-burning fireplace and two sets of nearly floor to ceiling French windows with Juliet balconies. On the other side of the room, the kitchen and dining area are arrayed around a glass-enclosed outdoor patio, part of which is open to another patio and walkway below.
The kitchen has a marble island and backsplash and Scandinavian minimalist-style wood cupboards. The dining area is demarcated with exposed ceiling beams and sliding glass doors that lead to the patio. A coat closet and a powder room are cantilevered over the walkway, as is the staircase to the second level.
Through a sliding door in the back of the dining room, the apartment discloses an even more over-the-top double-height space with a concrete wall and massive windows overlooking the rear garden. At top is a lofted office with a wall of built-in bookshelves. Below is a media/family room with a polished concrete floor. A swiveling black fireplace hovers in front of the wall-to-wall windows.
Past the gravel-filled outdoor dining area is a freestanding studio.
Upstairs are three minimalist bedrooms with wood floors and oversized operable windows. The master suite features a salvage mid-19th-century Italianate marble mantel between built-in bookcases, a substantial walk-in closet, and a marble-walled bathroom.
The latter has radiant heated floors, a glass-enclosed shower and a marble tub. It also has a striking indoor-outdoor feel, thanks to plentiful custom windows overlooking a terrace that wraps around the back of the second floor.
Accessed through the side walkway, the garden-level apartment has an open living-dining-kitchen area, a modern wood-burning stove and a small patio. It has one bathroom and two bedrooms, the smaller of which has an attractive wall of minimalist white cupboards and a Runtal-style radiator.
76 Green Street is situated only a half block from the waterfront, three blocks from the historic district, and 2.5 blocks from the India Street water taxi, making the location potentially especially attractive for some. The New York flood zone map shows it at an 11-foot flood elevation.
The listing is being shown by Patricia Vance of Douglas Elliman for the whopping (for Greenpoint) asking price of $4.999 million, just slightly more than a record setting $4.94 million sale in June. Will it get it for all the trimmings?
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