131 Fort Greene Place

Aspect and Exterior: This is a rare 1857 Italianate brick townhouse in the Brooklyn Academy of Music Historic District, probably built by Michael Murray, Thomas Skelly and Effingham H. Nichols. Built on an exceptionally wide 21 by 100 ft. lot, the house was subsequently enlarged by the addition of a three-story 15 ft. deep extension. The front exterior protected by the landmark designation features three stories of brick over a brownstone basement; square-headed window and door-cap molded entrance lintel carried on smooth-faced brackets; full-height parlor windows, roof cornice with curvilinear ornament below and on the fascia and also on the soffits; carefully restored/original cast-iron railings; restored bluestone flagged sidewalk; wheel-chair accessible entrance to basement apartment.

Owner’s Triplex The Parlor Floor features two white marble fireplace mantels with sculptured fine grape bunches and vines in the arched spandrels, pocket doors separating the living room from the formal dining room, two gilded pier mirrors, Greek-eared moldings, gilded ornamental ceiling plasterwork featuring alternating lily flowers and leaves, some feathery Queen Anne or Georgian Revival plaster flourishes, parquet floors and an Eastlake vestibule. A country kitchen in the extension features exposed beams and bricks, a service island, and Vulcan restaurant stove. Rear access to a solarium and stairs leading down to the landscaped garden with bluestone and brick flagged patio. The Second Floor of the owner’s triplex features three bedrooms and walk-in closets, including a large L-shaped master bedroom with restored arched niche, two marble fireplace mantels, bathroom with antique claw-footed bathtub, quarry tile bathroom wall and crisp, white wainscoting. The top floor comprises the self-contained guest quarters featuring a cathedral ceiling with skylight and a Jacuzzi bath. A large bedroom and adjacent study/walk-in closet, large living room with kitchen area and cabinets, abundant storage space, and a wooden deck built on the roof of the extension equipped with iron railing and fire-escape. The actual rents for the parlor floor and top floor apartments are $3,500.00 and $2,100.00 respectively. Projected rents could be $4,200.00 for parlor floor and $2,400 for the top floor apartment.

Basement Apartment: The original 19th century dimensions of the ground floor have been totally re-vamped to create an unusually spacious rental unit with living, dining and kitchen areas in an open plan with exposed brick wall in the front; and a master-bedroom and separate study overlooking the rear garden; the renovated bathroom includes a Jacuzzi bath. Actual rent for this unit is $1,800.00. Projected rent could be $2,400.00.

Finished Cellar Recreation Space All wiring and plumbing enclosed; separate recreation, utility and furnace rooms with fireproof metal doors; recreation room has tiled floors over 6” cement slab, recessed lighting, full bathroom with shower, cedar-paneled sauna, wine cellar, forced-air ventilation.

Other Roof recently redone with aluminized material and metal hydraulic hatch providing easy and secure access; natural gas boiler, thermostatically controlled hot-water radiators. Location: 5 minutes from Brooklyn Academy of Music, Atlantic Centre shopping, LIRR terminal and Atlantic Ave. subway complex.

Source for architectural details: City of New York, Landmarks Preservation Commission, Brooklyn Academy of Music Historic District Designation Report, 1978.  and Charles Lockwood, Bricks and Brownstone: The New York Row House, 1783-1929, Abbeville Press, New York, 1972. 


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