On a corner lot, this great limestone from the early 20th century offers more than enough space in addition to chimneys, fixtures and other details from the time – not to mention the advantage of a garage. Its location at 53 St. Pauls Place in Flatbush also has the charm of being just a short walk from Prospect Park.
It is one of a series of houses that have replaced the mansard-roofed mansion of William and Julia Matthews, which was sold to the CH Tabor Land and Improvement Company in 1907 along with its sprawling property. The manor house was preserved, while part of the property was expanded with two-family houses. In 1910 the mansion was finally demolished and construction of the planned single-family houses began.
The limestone houses on this stretch all have bays in full height, some angled and some curved, and are crowned with cornices in brackets. House number 53, one of the bow-front houses, is at the end of the row and has a facade that surrounds Crooke Avenue. The limestone front on the Saint Paul’s side has some leaf ornaments as well as classic accents such as the pilasters that extend to a mock balustrade. The brick facade along Crooke Avenue is a little more subdued, but limestone cladding on the windows liven it up.
Save this listing on Brownstoner Real Estate for price, availability and open house updates as they occur >>
An advertisement from 1919 for the property shows a wonderful view of the extension on the side facade which once had an open and columnar porch on the second floor with a “glassed-in billiard room” above and a solarium below.
While it has been significantly altered, some details remain, including a cornice that separates the lower level of the brick from the upper tier on the side. At the very top there are still some of the original window openings of the clergy, although the wings with diamond discs below have been replaced by double hanging windows. A look at the back facade from Google Maps shows neighboring houses in the row with some other details preserved.
The two-family house, now built as a single-family home, was an open house pick in 2019, but was not sold and is back on the market with a new broker and price. The listing photos are new but it doesn’t look like any major changes have been made since it was last available. The top floor only has a small kitchenette which, according to the floor plan, is hidden in a closet, so some may use the house as a single family home.
The details of the triple rooms are intact, including the wooden floors with inlaid borders; the Ionic column mantle and built-in bench of the central saloon; and the coffered ceiling, the paneling and the plate rack in the dining room. In the latter there is also another mantle with ionic columns.
The kitchen is in the back of the living room, just behind the second flight of stairs in the back extension. It may be small compared to the size of the rest of the house.
Upstairs there is a bit of flexibility in the floor plan. In the rounded bay is a bedroom with two closets, a toilet and a full bath from Jack and Jill, which is shared with an adjoining room. This room, accessible via the main and back stairs, has a sink and closet in the passageway and can be used as a living room for a large suite. Both rooms have painted, columnar mantels with cloaked mirrors. Another bedroom with a sink and a home office or winter garden are in the extension.
On the top floor there is more space in the bedroom and in the extension there is the former billiard room, which is clad in panels from the 1970s and has an exposed beamed ceiling and windows in the back yard on two exposures.
The property is set back from the street and has a green area to the front and to the side. But with the aft extension and garage taking up much of the stern, there is only a piece of courtyard at the back. The garage makes a different style statement: it has Ionic pilasters that frame the more modern garage door.
The property hasn’t changed hands in decades and is now listed on Douglas Elliman’s Patricia (Patty) LaRocco and Maria Goretti for $ 2.25 million. Will it move at the new price?
[Listing: 53 St. Pauls Place | Broker: Douglas Elliman] GMAP
Sign up for amNY’s COVID-19 newsletter to stay up to date on the latest coronavirus news across New York. Email [email protected] with additional comments, questions, or tips. Follow Brownstoner on Twitter and Instagram and like us on Facebook.