This week’s look back at four of our featured listings from six months has a few stunning houses, including the Pfizer Mansion in Clinton Hill.
The most popular listings on Brownstoner this week include a house in need of some love in Park Slope, a renovated brick townhouse in Gowanus and a luxe mansion in Clinton Hill.
The most popular listings on Brownstoner this week include a historic mansion in Clinton Hill, a brownstone in Bed Stuy and a standalone in Ditmas Park.
This Queen Anne brownstone combines an extravagance of original architecture with a colorful history and stunning recent renovation.
The Insider is Brownstoner’s in-depth look at what’s happening in interior design and renovation in Brooklyn. Written and produced by design journalist/blogger Cara Greenberg, you can find it here every Thursday at 11:30AM.
YES, BROWNSTONER READERS, you may well have seen (and discussed) this exceptional house before. Known as the Pfizer mansion, it was a House of the Day here as far back as February 2006. It sold in 2007 to Jessica and Doug Warren, who lived there with their two teenagers through the three-year renovation that followed. At one point, says Jessica Warren, “We were camping on the top floor and cooking in an electric frying pan.”
The scary befores have been published, as have photos of the work in progress, and even turn-of-the-century documents unearthed during the reno. You may even have been in the house when it was on the Clinton Hill House Tour last spring. So what’s left for The Insider to bring to the table? New interior photos, showing previously unpublished areas and details; specifics of the mostly contemporary furnishings; floor plans, sections, and elevations by Neuhaus Design Architecture (NDA), including the new kitchen addition at the rear of the parlor floor, inspired by a long-gone, apse-shaped, glass-and-steel Victorian conservatory.
To re-cap, the 25-foot-wide, 10,000-square-foot Queen Anne mansion was built in 1887 as a private residence and later used by the Brooklyn Public Library, a Catholic girls’ school, and eventually a recording studio of sorts, with rooms rented out to Pratt students. “The roof leaked, the skylights were tar-papered over, and downspouts were shooting water to nowhere, but the grander spaces were intact,” recalls architect Kimberly Neuhaus of NDA, which brought the forlorn building back to its elegant origins, figuring out how to install all new mechanicals without interfering with the existing detail. NDA also designed the spectacular new kitchen addition, new bathrooms, and a new curving staircase. The construction manager/contractor was Brooklyn-based Interior Alterations, Inc.
The furnishings, a mostly modern mix ranging from thrift-shop finds to pedigreed auction material, are the work of homeowner Jessica Warren, who launched an interior design business, JP Warren Interiors, six months ago (she’s also an inveterate eBay shopper). “The tension between old and new benefits both of them,” she says, “and the simplicity of the modern furniture allows you to see how ornate the house really is.” One reason modern furniture is surprisingly sympathetic in a 19th century house with a 105-foot-long parlor floor may be, as Warren points out, “The long sight lines are like modern spaces.”
Above: The elaborate floor borders in the front parlor are “a re-creation of what was originally there,” says Neuhaus. “The field is original, but the ornate scroll work was too thin to be salvaged.”
Photos: Peter Margonelli / Carl Bellavia
Drawings Courtesy Neuhaus Design Architecture
More after the jump.