Eye On Real Estate
By Lore Croghan
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Here's a first look inside the first single-lot home in Victorian Flatbush to sell for $2 million.
Interior renovation is going full speed ahead at much written-about 114 Westminster Road – with its new co-owner, architect Stephen Tanenbaum, serving as the foreman.
From the salvaged, historically appropriate overhead light fixtures and other construction materials (our especial favorite was the dining-room chandelier) to meticulously repaired wood floors, “it's a labor of love,” he said.
Last August, Tanenbaum and his wife Alisa Stratton bought the 12-room, 1915-vintage home – which Prospect Park South's Landmarks designation report describes as a Colonial Revival whose “broad, simple mass … creates an effect of quiet monumentality.”
The deal was brokered by Mary Kay Gallagher Real Estate.
The couple, who moved from Park Slope, had wanted to live in Victorian Flatbush for the longest time.
“Each house has its own personality,” he said. “Sometimes in a brownstone neighborhood, you can walk into the wrong yard and think it's your own.”
They first looked at 114 Westminster several years ago when it was on the market, another brokerage had the listing and it was priced “unrealistically,” he said – at almost $3 million.
They and their three kids have been living in the house during the fix-up. “My family has really endured a lot,” he said.
Things got interesting when he remodeled the kitchen.
“We washed our dishes in the bathtub,” he said. “My wife deserves a medal.”
Because Tanenbaum got rid of the wall between the “claustrophobic” kitchen and the old-fashioned, wood-floored dining room, it wouldn't have looked right to make the kitchen look like a laboratory. Instead, he gave it the feel of a library, with rich-toned wood cabinets and a wooden ladder on wheels.
Also, he opened up the living room to the sun room. The combined space will be quite something when the work is finished.
BTW, shortly before Tanenbaum and Stratton closed on the Westminster Road house, they sold their Park Slope rowhouse at 467 14th St. for $3.35 million, city Finance Department records indicate.