Here’s a modest brick row house that offers a bit of early 20th century style and a location across from the open space of Highland Park. The house at 31 Ridgewood Avenue in Cypress Hills was constructed by one of the builders who was busy transforming the blocks around the park to lure new residents to the area.
Advertising his houses as “Richards Real Homes,” with taglines like “modern homes at moderate prices,” builder Frank Richards boasted in 1915 that his company had built and sold more than 100 homes in the Highland Park area within three years. Advertisements show that this row, which included eight residences with two-family homes on the corners and single-family homes in between, was completed in 1912. Original amenities included verandas, wall safes, parquet floors and tiled kitchens. The shallowness of the block also meant that they were the only houses constructed on the block and boasted boast two entrances — a front door on Ridgewood Avenue and a rear door facing Jamaica Avenue and the park.
There was a bit of design variety in the row of two-story houses with a mix of Colonial and Mediterranean Revival styles. This one has an angled bay, splayed lintels on its upper story and a portico that would have originally had more Colonial Revival detail. The circa 1940 tax photo shows a columned entry topped with a tile roof and more tile on the roof above.
Inside, the house has a living room, dining and kitchen on the first floor and three bedrooms and a full bath above. The fairly open first floor still has the advertised parquet, a foyer with an original glass-doored closet and a stair with moldings and newel post intact.
The windowed galley kitchen has been updated with white subway tile and pale wood cabinets. A door leads to the rear yard.
Upstairs there are two large bedrooms, one in the front and one at the rear, with closets and a small bedroom that would make for fine home office space. The only full bath in the house has beadboard, a double vanity and white fixtures.
There’s more space in the basement with a laundry room and a half bath. It’s unclear if the basement is legal living space but the listing describes it as “partially finished” and there is an exit to the rear yard.
That petite rear yard is paved and enclosed with a low brick wall and has room for some potted plants.
The house hasn’t changed hands since the 1970s. It’s now listed for $575,000 with Bruce Goveia and Brian Meier with Christie’s International Real Estate. What do you think?
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