This is a sweet, well-preserved, mid-19th-century Italianate wood frame house with fish-scale shingles and a long backyard in Wallabout, around the corner from Walt Whitman’s similarly styled house and a skip and a jump from the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and Navy Yard. Modest when originally built, 102 Hall Street gives a flavor for what these houses must have been like to live in, while proving that the type fixes up nicely for contemporary times. It seems beautifully intact inside and out, avoiding the vinyl-sided craze that currently afflicts Whitman’s former residence as well as any vertical additions. Perhaps it got lucky because it’s been in the same family for more than a century, according to the listing.
While 102 Hall is only 16 feet wide, it manages not to look squeezed in the photos, perhaps because it’s in use as a single-family house, as intended. It has old-fashioned wood double entry doors with arched lights, marble mantels, a picture rail in the front parlor, and plaster details such as cornices in the parlor and a bracketed arch in the best bedroom.
The moderately updated kitchen has what might be an original built-in dish cupboard and some exposed brick around the partly covered over firebox and chimney. Other likely later additions that are still lovely are the tin ceilings and parlor mantel topper, and it also has some fun wallpapers in three rooms. (Some of the floors look new-ish but are not obtrusive.)
The bathrooms have been nicely updated in keeping with the style of the house. The petite (and likely original) top floor bathroom has wainscoting and a claw foot tub, and there’s a newer additional bath with a shower on the garden floor with an Edwardian stained glass window. The screened in terrace in the rear looks convenient — and the garden stretches for a ways beyond that — but any potential buyer might want to check if the terrace meets code.
If you look at the pictures from the 1980s forward on PropertyShark, they all show shingles, as does the tax photo from the 1940s. Although the house may have lost its original front door to an unfortunate replacement, at some point since 2015 that was rectified and there is now a wooden door that is much more in keeping with what would have been there originally, seen in the latter image.
Although the house is close to the elevated freeway, it might be far enough away, depending on the prevailing wind, to prevent the accumulation of soot and danger to health that could be drawback of the location. It’s a also bit of a walk uphill to the nearest subway. Also nearby is, incidentally, the Naval Cemetery Park with a nice landscape designed by Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects. The park recalls Whitman’s ode to the revolutionary war heroes interred in the area, some of them under the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument in Fort Greene Park, titled The Wallabout Martyrs, with the kicker:
Once living men—once resolute courage, aspiration, strength,
The stepping stones to thee to-day and here, America.
There’s an open house tonight, Wednesday, May 1 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. when you can ask the listing agents Heather Burns, Paul Zweben and Carolyn Zweben of Douglas Elliman any further questions. It’s priced at $1.55 million, which comes to around $950 per square foot, based on the listed square footage of 1,632. Is it an attractive deal, all things considered?
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