In defense of its name, when it was built in 1914, neo-Colonial architecture was in vogue and the term wasn’t yet frowned upon as referencing a system of expropriation for another half-century. Exaggeration aside, this fifth-floor co-op in The Colonial at 38 Livingston Street is a relatively spacious one at around 800 square feet and comes with a view of trees and neighboring gardens.
The street is not named after the African missionary Dr. David Livingstone, let it be noted, but Philip Livingston, a signer of the Declaration of Independence who had a 40-acre estate in Brooklyn Heights.
The Colonial is a neo-Classical, six-story brick structure in the Brooklyn Heights Historic District with bracketed cornice and some urns and columns framing the entrance but not much else of note on the exterior. (A quick look at the 1940 tax photo reveals little has changed.) Inside, it has four rooms and a few details like picture-frame moldings and a large leaded glass window in the bathroom. The latter is renovated, with subway tile that may or may not be original, marble floor tile, a porcelain tub and a marble sink.
The kitchen has been updated in a similar vein, with elements that could read as new or original, blending the neo-Colonial and the Edwardian, such as the riveted cabinet doors under the farmhouse sink, painted wood floor, extra tall cupboards and hanging industrial light fixture.
Perhaps originally efficiency apartments for those escaping Manhattan tenements, the building boasts an elevator, although not central air, and the unit’s “flexible” sitting room has long since been made over into a permanent second bedroom with the addition of two closets in place of French doors.
All things considered, the $1.25 million asking price counts as cheap in the current market, with monthly maintenance of $1,192 and a pretty sweet location near multiple train lines, a bunch of shopping strips, Brooklyn Bridge Park and the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. Heather McMaster and Ariane Dembs of Corcoran are showing the place. Worth it, name aside?
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