A compact two-bedroom co-op is on the market in a Rosario Candela-designed prewar elevator building facing Grand Army Plaza. Candela is famed for his tiered setback luxury apartment buildings constructed in the years before the stock market crash of 1929.
39 Plaza Street West, originally a rental named Berkeley Plaza and advertised as one of Brooklyn’s “finest apartment houses,” landed in 1927, at the height of his career. In a two-year span just before the crash, Candela filed plans for 19 apartment complexes.
Apartment 6C is a modest affair accented with a few fine finishes and light from three exposures. The entry foyer with a coat closet passes a renovated galley-style kitchen outfitted with extensive cherry cabinets, white counters, subway tile and stainless steel appliances. A place for a breakfast table is staged here with a small writing desk in the window.
Beyond the kitchen is a combined living/dining room with windows on two exposures, herringbone hardwood floors and a built-in display cabinet with curving corners. Going by the photos, the views may not be facing Grand Army Plaza and Prospect Park but neighboring buildings.
Both bedrooms are spacious; the larger is shown in the photos as set up for a child. It has a large closet and light from two exposures.
The master bedroom is slightly smaller but has an en suite bathroom. It seems smaller than it is, however, due to being overwhelmed by a full wall of built-ins. Perhaps they could be pared down for breathing room.
The master bedroom also has a closet, and the en suite bathroom has a shower. A tub is found in the second bathroom, located off a hallway next to a linen closet. Neither bathroom is pictured.
Situated on a corner lot overlooking Grand Army Plaza, the building is faced with limestone on the lower two floors and brick above. The arched entrance is ornamented by frothy details and pilasters and topped with an awning and Juliet balcony. On the third floor is a row of Venetian-style arched windows above a bracketed crown. The massing of the roughly pentagon-shaped 14-story tower is softened by a row of Juliet balconies and arched windows on the penultimate level.
An extensive exhibition of Candela’s work last year at the Museum of the City of New York characterizes the era as one in which the extravagant mansions of the city’s wealthiest barons were being replaced by upscale apartment towers marketed as second homes to those with country houses. 39 Plaza Street West, completed in 1927, was reported in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle to be “the last word in luxurious apartment accommodations.” After 1929, construction all but halted and Candela’s career went into decline.
The listing, from Mary Elizabeth Smith and Paul Hansen of Corcoran, describes a full range of services at the building, including a live-in superintendent, doorman, storage, updated laundry facilities, modernized electricity and an elevator attendant.
The maintenance is on the high side, no doubt reflecting the white-glove service and taxes, at $1,904 a month. The asking price is $1.165 million, and the co-op may require 25 percent down. Worth it to live in a Candela building directly across from Prospect Park?
[Photos via The Corcoran Group]
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