Brooklyn Structure: Previously crumbling homes are new once more
A couple of crumbling timber frame houses have come back from the abyss and have been beautifully restored. The Grade I listed houses at 578 Carlton Avenue and 580 on Prospect Heights date from the mid-19th century, but crisp details and clean clapboard suggest to the viewer that new material is being used.
The timber frame buildings from the early 1850s located in the historic Prospect Heights neighborhood are among the earliest in the neighborhood. Their cornices, clip-on hoods and silhouettes speak the architectural language of the mid-19th century.
The last decade has been tough for historical structures. Right house 578 partially collapsed in 2012 while 580 was being worked on. The work was part of a “historical reconstruction” that was carried out during the market for $ 1,999,999.
Cara Greenberg of CasaCARA and Brownston’s Insider Column toured 580 Carlton Avenue in 2011, before it collapsed, when the original interior details still survived. Soon nothing was left of the buildings but the stiffened front facades.
Work on the houses resumed in 2014 when landmarks approval was granted. The architect Rachel Frankel, known for the design of historically correct-looking new buildings, was behind the project of building new houses behind the preserved façades.
The project included cladding of the preserved façades with wooden shingles and the installation of multi-pane windows. At 578 a non-historical door hood was removed and a replica was installed in brackets.
The preserved cornice at No. 578 was restored, while at No. 580 a new, clamped cornice was installed.
Both homes have sold for $ 3.4 million each in the past two years – # 580 in 2015 and # 578 in 2016.
[Photos by Susan De Vries unless noted otherwise]
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