The real estate brochure for this prewar apartment building in Brooklyn Heights is emblazoned with one of those crests popular in early 20th century architecture during one of several revivals of Colonial and British heritage. The crest in the brochure features a lion resembling the Gaulish coat of arms of Lyons, but the crest on the extravagantly ornamented facade of 70 Remsen Street is ordained with something akin to an antelope, which figured into a few different orders of heraldry hailing from the United Kingdom.
Apartment 3C has none of the pomp and circumstance of the facade’s two rows of arcades and a band bracketed with human and animal figures — apparently inspired by a Venetian palazzo, to our eye. One of the figures is none other than the architect himself, H.I. Feldman, according to Robert Furman’s book on Brooklyn Heights.
The apartment is a relatively simple 2.5-bedroom co-op with a renovated kitchen and at least one vintage bathroom. Yet its unusual and commodious layout–a combination of two original units–has light on three sides, two full bathrooms and a half bedroom with its own separate bath that could serve as an office, guest room, or a small room for a toddler. The foyer has a coat closet and extensive built-in shelves.
Most of the floors are cork, and the windows mostly have muntins. Cork parquet floors were installed from the beginning, “insuring absolute quiet,” the brochure reveals.
In the combined living/dining room, a built-in radiator cover adds a shelf in front of the windows, and French doors separate it from the recently renovated kitchen. The kitchen is outfitted with white cabinets, stainless steel appliances, a white tile backsplash, wood countertops, and a white diaper tile floor.
Most of the rooms have beamed ceilings and are large. The unit has five closets, including two of the walk-in variety, and the apartment has two entrances.
The bathroom shown in the listing has evidently been updated at some point, but in a classic vintage style with black and white floor tiles, white subway tile walls with a black stripe, and a presumably original Art Deco era tub. The sink is a pedestal.
70 Remsen Street is in the Brooklyn Heights Historic District. The building, originally known as “The Remsen” was completed in 1929. An early ad calls it the “most distinctive” apartment building in Brooklyn, noting it offers “courteous personal attention” and caters only to “discriminating folk” who are “anxious to enjoy quiet restful lives,” which sounds like a perfectly New York contradiction. It’s a 10-story building with 103 units. “Bargains all,” it concludes.
The monthly maintenance is a rather hefty $2,370, covering a concierge and doorman, as well as taxes and electricity. The listing, from Randy Baruh and Aiste Balcourt of Corcoran, is asking $1.5 million. Is it a bargain or not?
[Photos via The Corcoran Group]
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