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Victorian Flatbush: The first house to hit $2 million: 114 Westminster Road

Our house is a very, very, very fine house. (Thank you Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, for that line.) Photo by Lore Croghan

Eye On Real Estate

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.

At 114 Westminster Road, the beautiful details begin at the front door, which has a leaded glass window. The view is of the house across the street – which is the residence of the president of Brooklyn College.

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.”

The dining room, seen from the newly renovated kitchen, is all aglow with morning light. Photo by Lore Croghan

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.”

Sweet kitchen, by the way - Photo by Lore Croghan

A closer look at one of the kitchen pillars - Photo by Lore Croghan

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.

Take a seat … and get a look at the floor's beautiful decorative border and the red leather wall. Photo by Lore Croghan 

Coolest. Chandelier. Ever. Photo by Lore Croghan

Let there be light … in the future billiards room. Photo by Lore Croghan

More light. So pretty. Photo by Lore Croghan

This is a Tiffany window. Photo by Lore Croghan

Speaking of windows, nice view. Photo by Lore Croghan

Original bathroom tile - Photo by Lore Croghan

Bet you have never seen bathtub fixtures like this … unless you live in Victorian Flatbush. Photo by Lore Croghan

May 14, 2014 - 12:00pm


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