Restored in the 1908s by its architect-designer owners, this narrow Cobble Hill brownstone contains some impressive historic details, including marble mantels, intricate grape-vine adorned plasterwork and a gracefully curved stair. The 1850s Anglo-Italianate at 159 Congress Street is also across from one of the neighborhood’s popular amenities, Cobble Hill Park.
Within the Cobble Hill Historic District, the house was built in the late 1850s as part of a brownstone trio, with the center of the row defined by a pedimented cornice. Like the others in the trio, No. 159 is just over 16.5 feet wide and has some of the hallmarks of the Anglo-Italianate style, including a low stoop, rusticated brownstone, and an arched doorway with a matching window to the side. The circa 1940 historic tax photo shows that it also once had molded lintels on the windows of the upper stories.
The house was last on the market in 1982 when it was purchased by the late Allen and Sabine Trousdale, an architect and an interior designer respectively, who undertook a full restoration of the row house. Allen Trousdale was familiar with the intricacies of restoring historic Brooklyn properties: In the 1970s while an associate at Oppenheimer, Brady and Associates, he was involved in the preservation plans for the Wyckoff House Museum.
Originally a one-family but converted to two, according to city records, the house is set up as a single-family today, with four floors plus a cellar and attic. One might expect the structure to be in fine repair, given its architect owner, and the interior details certainly look to be in fine condition. Still-extant wallpaper hints at the couple’s design inspiration.
The low stoop enters into a small foyer; the garden level comprises a sitting room at front, kitchen in the middle, and dining at the rear. On the next floor is the parlor level with the center stair hall and two parlors. Above are two floors of bedroom space and an unfinished attic.
The sitting room and dining room both have classically inspired wallpaper; the sitting room also has a tin ceiling. A striking black marble mantel stands out in the dining room, and French doors open to a wood deck.
A streamlined minimalist kitchen with white cabinets and rust-colored stone counters and tile floor is sandwiched between the sitting and dining rooms. There is also a half bath on this floor.
Pierced plasterwork molding runs throughout the parlor level in both the front and rear parlors and the center stair hall. Also on this level are two more marble mantels, tall windows, high ceilings and wood floors.
Four bedrooms are spread across the upper two floors but there is just one full bath on the third floor. The floor plan shows a large laundry room with a sink, washer/dryer and a fireplace on the fourth floor, so perhaps there is space to carve out a full bathroom.
In addition to the wood deck there is a paved rear yard with planting beds in the center and raised beds on either side filled with shrubs and perennials.
Listed with Nick Hovsepian, Leslie Marshall and James Cornell of Corcoran, it is priced at $3.75 million. Worth the ask?
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