An 1829 sea captain’s house in Walt Whitman’s Brooklyn Heights offers a boatload of historic details along with all of the modern comforts expected in a luxurious reno
This classic Federal-style townhouse in the heart of Brooklyn Heights offers nearly 5,000 square feet of fully renovated interior space spread across five levels, along with a full gym on the lower garden level and a private backyard oasis.
Affectionately known as “The Captain’s House,” the 25-foot-wide home at 13 Cranberry Street was built in 1829 by British sea Captain Richard Mortimer. It was convenient to the harbor’s then-working waterfront, and today, the six-bedroom residence neighbors its successors: the Brooklyn Heights Promenade and, beyond it, Brooklyn Bridge Park.
The charming old home is chock full of historic architectural details, including four wood-burning fireplaces (they all work), mosaic floor tiles, intricate moldings and cornices, high ceilings, hardwood floors, a glass transom, and original wood shutters.
Recent renovations brought in under-floor heating, new energy-efficient windows, spacious new closets and built-in cabinetry, a whole-house water filtration system, a humidified multi-zone HVAC system, built-in Sonos sound, and irrigation for the front and back gardens.
From the old-fashioned brownstone stoop, which is heated now to melt away snow and ice, you step into a grand and gracious foyer. In the British style of the day, the stairs have been kicked to the back of the house and doubled over, adding more space to the hallway and the rooms.
These classic New York townhouses are known for their sensational parlor floors, and this one does not disappoint, with a stylish mix of over-the-top grandeur and comfortable hominess in the living and dining rooms. In so many of these old townhouses, the kitchen was inconveniently located on the lower garden level. But here, the eat-in family kitchen is all part of the action. It features custom cabinetry with walnut accents, Glassos counters, a Calacatta Gold island, and appliances by Sub-Zero, Wolf and Miele. Three oversized windows over the sink face out to the backyard.
Let’s head upstairs to check out the bedrooms. The cozy primary suite, which is just above the parlor floor, features a fireplace, a large walk-in closet with a built-in vanity and a new spa-like bathroom with a standalone shower, an oversized skylight, double sinks, and a handsome soaking tub in front of the windows. (Look twice at the bathroom mirror and you might see the hidden television.) This floor holds two more bedrooms, and there are another three upstairs.
Along with the has-it-all gym, the ground-floor garden level offers a cozy den and easy access to the backyard, which features a sofa, a dining table, new ipe fencing, bluestone pavers and a hard-piped built-in gas barbecue grill. It’s utterly private back here, but you’ll love looking at the handsome backsides of the surrounding historic townhouses.