Brooklyn Heights Brownstone
A Two-Story Expansion Provides a Seamless Addition to This Nineteenth-Century Home
This Brooklyn Heights brownstone first came to life in 1848. When the current owners purchased the home, it had already withstood a century and a half of updates and decor changes by other families. They knew the space needed renovation to modernize it and individualize it for their needs, and their goal was to do so without hiding the building’s historic character.
The top three floors of the five-floor building contain apartments, leaving the bottom two floors for the family’s residence. The homeowners planned an expansion to the rear of the bottom two floors, and they hired architect Ben Herzog of Brooklyn and his eponymous firm to lead the renovation and designer Elizabeth Cooke-King of Milton, Massachusetts to execute the design details.
Renovating landmark properties takes a team that loves all things old and recognizes original architectural details when they see them. Herzog and Cooke-king are that team. Herzog appreciates the almost archaeological nature of these projects. “As you open up walls, you can see the history of the place,” he says. “You see all the heating systems that have been added over time. You look at a wooden newel post and know, if the house was built in 1848, then the tree that made that post had to start growing sometime in the 1600s. It’s an amazing thing.”
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