This corner home at 24 Middagh Street in Brooklyn Heights offers a private courtyard and garden, a two-bedroom guest cottage, and easy access to the Promenade and Brooklyn Bridge Park.
The first steam-powered ferry was launched from Manhattan to Brooklyn in 1814, paving the way for the creation of Brooklyn Heights (which, in 1965, became the city’s first designated historic district) as a fashionable residential area and the country’s first suburb. Within a decade, the Heights began to prosper with its first building boom. While shaky record-keeping make it hard to determine an exact construction date, most historians cite the Federal-style gem at 24 Middagh as the oldest house in the neighborhood, likely going up in 1824.
Today, the four-story corner townhouse with five bedrooms remains one of the city’s finest examples of a Federal-style wood-frame house. Other distinctive architectural details include wide-plank pine floors, a barn-like gambrel roof, doorways with Ionic colonettes, quarter-round attic windows, ornate moldings, shutters, and a pair of boot scrapers at the front entrance.
Historic and architectural provenance aside, this is a sweet, sweet house loaded with charm and easy livability. And perhaps best of all, just across the private courtyard in back, the property has its own two-bedroom guest cottage in a completely separate structure. Once a carriage house, the dwelling was added by the architect William F. Schorn in 1938, when the convenient gate that opens to Willow Street was also added. Two years earlier, the main house got a makeover by the architect Sidney Daub for his newlywed clients, with a new picket fence, larger attic windows, and shutters for all of the windows. When these historic Brooklyn Heights homes of this era were built, they were typically painted white with green latticed blinds. Today, it’s a warm gray color with contrasting red shutters.
By the numbers, the property features 4,007 square feet of interior space, seven bedrooms, five bathrooms, and five fireplaces with their original wood mantels.
The garden level of the main house features an eat-in kitchen and a formal dining room. Up the steps to the floor above is the foyer and a double parlor with twin wood-burning fireplaces. The upper floors each hold two bedrooms.
The carriage house offers an open-plan living and dining area, with a fireplace as well as a second kitchen and two upstairs bedrooms. A very private walled and leafy garden sits between the two homes. (It’s also a prime spot to store bikes, scooters and carriages.)
The historic home is also incredibly convenient, with easy walkability to the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, the very popular Brooklyn Bridge Park, and a quick commute to Wall Street and Lower Manhattan. And once again, commuter ferries are plying these same waters.