This is a rare opportunity to own a nineteenth-century Italianate brownstone on Cambridge Place, now on the market for the first time in thirty-two years. Cambridge Place comprises two landmarked blocks in the historic Clinton Hill District of Brooklyn. This splendid 3,360 sq. ft. house has four stories comprised of 12 rooms (6 bedrooms, 3 full bathrooms, 1 half-bath), plus a mudroom, basement, and professionally landscaped garden.
This stunning triplex is authentic in all its classic details: tall windows, high ceilings, crown moldings, intricate plaster ceiling medallions, marble fireplaces, and arched doorways, some with original pocket doors. Diagonal oak floorboards are bordered with inlaid ebony parquet. These original features, along with historically correct interiors restored to classic proportions, exemplify the grandeur of a quintessential Italianate brownstone.
Let yourself be transported into a time and place unto itself.
The front sidewalk of period bluestone steps into a courtyard with Asian inflected garden, which boasts the only working gas lamp on Cambridge Place. The recently repointed facade offers an iconic brownstone stoop, high and wide, with original iron balusters, railings, and cast-iron newel posts. The entrance arches over double doors with traditional enframementsbracketed lintels, sills, and corbels of carved stoneall embellished with classic foliate scroll.
Each room has a unique ambiance, changing mood with the shifting light of its East-West exposure. Drawing inspiration from French interior designer Jacques Garcia, the owner has lovingly restored this elegant home with architectural authenticity and period dcor. Victorian opulence and Gothic accents are combined with bold color and flair, masterfully integrating the home's historical detail with contemporary amenities.
First floor Parlor level
The original mahogany banister and curved handrail of the home's stately staircase distinguishes the entrance foyer. An arched doorway opens upon the grand front parlor with the first of five fireplaces, each of imported hand-carved marble, each a unique work of art. The working wood-burning fireplace in the parlor is fronted by a traditional panel-and-scroll apron and adorned with a medallion of a dove and hanging grapes, in high relief. Floor-to-ceiling, double-hung windows by Lepage Millwork infuse the parlor with natural light.
Enter the rear dining room through arched pocket doors, decorated with etched glass. A second hand-carved marble fireplace displays an apron medallion of a mariner, possibly a nod to Richard Williams, the home's first resident, a ship's block maker.
Adjoining the dining area, is a custom open kitchen, lined with wood-and-glass cabinets, specially built for its alcove space, and finished with a granite countertop to match an imposing cooking island.
Two separate French doors open out from the sunny kitchen/dining room area onto a wrought-iron deck arrayed with potted plants, an espaliered pear tree, and antiquity-inspired statuary.
The master bedroom boasts the full 20-foot width of the west-facing front of the house, with three large windows and their original wooden louvered shutters. A generous arched sleeping alcove comfortably accommodates a modern queen-size bed frame, and overlooks the leafy canopy of a seasonal shade tree. The diagonal oak flooring with an inlaid border of ebony parquet, complements the wall covering of bold stripes, accentuated with a decorative border. The separate sitting area within the master suite has its own working fireplace. A large walk-through closet connects the bedrooms, with a built-in double wardrobe, drawers, cabinets, and shelves.
The rear bedroom is a rich embrace of Farrow & Ball Drawing Room Blue, enhanced by its ornamental carved marble fireplace and authentic period lighting fixture, beautifully reflected in a dramatic pier mirror.
The second-floor bathroom, renovated in 2019, features stunning, hand-blocked wallcovering from Zuber, the storied French wallpaper maker. The vintage claw foot bathtub is updated with a luxurious rainfall shower head, and hand-forged, wrought-iron details. Each porcelain fixture sits upon its original countersunk Italian marble floor slab. A pair of early Belle poque bronze wall sconces frame the beveled demi-lune mirror over a console bathroom sink, with a curved backsplash and two large spindle legs.
An original Edwards double-pitch skylight floods the stairwell up to the third floor, highlighting the delicate filigree of its Lincrusta wall covering. The staircase, newly rebuilt, ascends to an aerie of three bedrooms and a full bathroom. The top floor also features the original wide-plank pine floors. The front bedroom, elegant in classic 'Willow Boughs' wallpaper, designed by William Morris in 1887, adjoins an additional petite chambre, separated by a glass-paned door. Its built-in bookcases also suggest an ideal location for the home office.
The rear bedroom has a birds-eye view of the garden below, and is also lined with floor-to-ceiling custom bookshelves, providing plenty of room for guests, or the perfect place to curl up with a book.
This bedroom is one of two on the third floor which have private marble washstand cabinets, artifacts of the home's original construction.
The full bathroom, with a large window over the garden, has a vintage bathtub, a built-in marble backsplash, and an overhead rainfall showerhead.
Extra closets line the top floor hallway for off-season storage, linens, cleaning supplies and sundries.
At this level, a newly renovated, all self-contained one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment has its own private entrance and a separate access to the garden. With an open kitchen and living area at the front, and a bedroom with large closet in the rear, this discreet space can be rented as an apartment or artist's studio, to generate rental income. Alternatively, it can be used as a guest suite, or renovated to be part of the upper triplex.
Follow the floor hallway and discover a homeowner's dream: a stone-tiled mud room, with a deep stainless-steel utility sink and an antique pie safe. A charming half-bathroom with antique fixtures provides an added convenience to the ground level.
Backyard & Garden
The landscaped garden features a bridged double Koi pond, additional living space, and natural beauty all year long. Curated specifically to appreciate each changing season, a series of bluestone pavers complements its pathway of old bricks. In summer, the pathway is fringed in sophisticated perennials. The rich greens of summer give way to autumnal reds and golds. In winter, the holly tree dominates a landscape of snow-capped conifers with a splash of its bright red berries. And spring returns all in chartreuse and sparkling with the deep purple of the grape hyacinth. Professionally designed, the garden has often been a must-see on the annual Clinton Hill Garden Walk, hosted by the Brownstone Brooklyn Garden District.
The large basement of rusticated masonry has pointed and waterproofed segmented archesideal for dry storage or a fine wine collection.
Clinton Hill is home to to some of Brooklyn's finest architecture including The Sculpture Gardens at Pratt Institute, BAM, Brooklyn Academy of Music. There is also a vibrant dining scene: Locanda Vini y Oli, Speedy Romeo, Evelina among a few. Cafes and shops, gourmet groceries at Mekelburg's and a short run to Wegmans. Convenient to Fort Greene Park, FAB Fulton (Fulton Business Alliance), and much more. Close proximity to A/C & G trains.