It always brings a little cheer to read the uncompromising words of Norval White and Elliot Willensky’s AIA Guide, the 1978 edition of which calls the 1963 co-op building housing this Brooklyn Heights studio “banal” and accuses it of ruining the charm of the street, without naming names. Apparently, the petitions against it by preservationists in the pre-Landmarks Preservation Commission days went to the Kings County Supreme Court. That said, apartment 5E at 45 Grace Court is a powerful argument for the transformative effects of good design. It is attractive and well-planned, with handsome sight lines and built-ins, a proper foyer and good storage space.
Two sets of full-wall, built-in bookcases, a half-wall divider between the living room and sleeping area, a modern kitchen in a separate room, and ancillary spaces like a foyer with coat closet and a large walk-in closet offer extra cushion in an apartment totaling perhaps 400 square feet.
The floors are wood except for the kitchen and bathroom, and the wall are white. The living room has a tripartite window with a built-in shelf above the enclosed radiator. Opposite the window, built-in bookshelves have a similar wood shelf that functions as a desk. The perpendicular wall is left free for art or a mirror and the room is plenty wide enough for a full-length couch and two side tables, or in this case a pink divan.
The kitchen has modern appliances under the quartz countertops and ample white cabinets above. The bathroom looks recently renovated with a pedestal sink, rectangular tan tile walls, and large gray slate-look tile floors. The only drawbacks for hosting purposes might be that the bathroom can be accessed only through the walk-in closet. In the current set-up, we also don’t see room for a table, but that can be easily remedied.
45 Grace Court is a 33-unit, six-story elevator building, a well-known modern Brooklyn Heights apartment house that dates from 1963. An early ad called it Grace House, and promoted air conditioning. Visible from the apartment are some pretty glorious gardens, which belong to some nearby townhouses, and the block dead ends at an East River/BQE/Lower Manhattan overlook.
The monthly maintenance is $787, which may be reasonable for Brooklyn Heights, and the place is asking $499,000, listed by Heather McMaster and Ariane Dembs at Corcoran. With the standard 20 percent down, if it were mortgaged for 30 years, that might bring payments to $2,810 a month, according to the broker’s calculator. Is it a good find?
[Photos via The Corcoran Group]
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