The clapboard charm of this 19th century Clinton Hill wood frame would make any old-house lover stop in their tracks and give it an admiring gaze. All the exterior Italianate details are present and accounted for at 357 Washington Avenue, and the period elements continue on the interior of the single-family home — including marble mantels, wood floors and plaster medallions.
In the Clinton Hill Historic District, the house has an adjacent twin. Both were constructed circa 1860 and, like others on the block, attributed to architect Ebenezer L. Roberts, according to the designation report. The clapboard facade — the clapboards were original at the time of designation and cleaned and repaired in 2019 — is enhanced with window enframements with corbelled sills and bracketed lintels, a columned portico, a front door with transoms and sidelights, and frieze band windows within the bracketed cornice. Brownstoner columnist Suzanne Spellen described both houses as “just about perfect.” The historic tax photo shows No. 357 with all those details intact and the house ready for the summer heat with second story awnings and shutters on the parlor floor.
A dig through historic newspapers turns up an intriguing ad from 1856 for two “very neat frame cottages” on Washington Avenue near Lafayette Avenue with five marble mantels, gas and in “genteel modern style.” While the description of the houses for sale by builder Henry Taney as two stories with attic and basement and 20 by 34 in size certainly matches this twin pair, a bit more digging would be needed to confirm that it isn’t describing other houses on the avenue. No direct reference to Roberts turned up in a quick hunt, although Roberts was certainly designing in Clinton Hill at the time and was later a favorite architect of oil baron Charles Platt.
On the interior, the two-room-deep house retains its traditional layout with dining and kitchen on the garden level, double parlors above and two floors of bedrooms. Thankfully for the modern dweller, updates include a new powder room tucked behind the stair on the parlor level, a renovated kitchen and central air.
Details in the front parlor include ear moldings, a plaster medallion and a marble mantel, one of seven mantels in the house. The listing photo also shows a glimpse of the original newel post in the entry. A typical Italianate interior detail, an arched niche, is found in the rear parlor along with built-ins with leaded glass doors, another mantel and a glass-paned door providing access to a rear deck.
The kitchen at the rear of the garden level, renovated since the house was last on the market in 2014, has a country vibe with exposed beams, white cabinets, two apron-front sinks and a tile backsplash with floral touches. A former fireplace has been outfitted with a rustic wood mantel and illuminated shelves for more storage.
A total of five bedrooms are spread across the upper floors with a full bath on each floor. The only bath shown in the listing photos is on the second floor and has a glitzy soaking tub with white wall tiles accented by green border tiles.
In addition to the deck off the dining room, the outdoor space includes a paved front yard with planting beds and a patio at the rear with more planting beds along the sides filled with perennials, shrubs and trees.
Other updates to the house according to the listing include restored radiators, updated HVAC with a Nest thermostat and an updated sump pump.
When it sold in 2014, it went for $2,640,357. Now listed with Douglas (Doug) Bowen and Zia O’Hara of Douglas Elliman, it is priced at $3.75 million. If you want to see it in person there is an open house by appointment only on Sunday, June 27 from noon to 1:30 p.m. What do you think?
- Find Your Dream Home in Brooklyn and Beyond With the New Brownstoner Real Estate
- Park Slope Brownstone Near Prospect Park With Mantels, Built-ins Asks $4.395 Million
- Renovated Slee & Bryson Semi-Detached in PLG With Sleeping Porch, Garage Asks $2.725 Million