Brownstones

I have some first pictures of our beautiful Brownstone parlour level apartment. Our broker worked her very unique brand of magic and got us the first viewing on the property. Over the next few months I’ll be posting more images as we decorate it. I think it’s a really unique space and I would love to hear some suggestions on what to do with it.

View from the front end to the back, through the middle room:

View from the middle room through to the shutters of the windows at the front of the property (which will be our bedroom):

Pretty fireplace (unfortunately not working) in the kitchen:

I’m now fascinated by the building and would love to find out more about these unique structures. The only fact I have discovered is that they are named after the, er, brown stone that comes from Jersey, which is used for the facade (underneath is plain old brick).

There are two floors above us and another below – all turned into flats now – so it must have been a very impressive home when it was intact. What I wouldn’t give to be able to restore it to its former glory but the realtor told me a building like ours would go for around $10-14 million today. Twenty years ago it was a different story…

Another thing I find particularly appealing about the place is that our landlord lived in our flat with his three siblings, parents and grandparents back when they first arrived from China in the 1970s (they slept in the kitchen, middle room and front room respectively). He obviously still has a strong attachment to the place as it is beautifully maintained and he was keen to meet us before we signed.

I’m happy that they now own such a valuable property (all our rent money goes to the grandparents), as Mr Han works very hard so his own children can study at college (he never takes a holiday but his son is going to the London School of Economics next year for summer camp, which can’t be cheap, and last year did the same in Paris).

It feels like the apartment is a piece of living history – with different types of New York immigrants living there over the decades. I hope we do the apartment justice. I’m quite sentimental about the place already.

 

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