One of the few remaining colonnade homes in Brooklyn Heights was in disrepair when the new Owners approached us about modifying the historic home to accommodate their growing family. The desirable location on a single block ‘Place’ and the historical significance of being a part of “Colonnade Row” made this 1840’s Greek Revival home worth saving, though the small footprint of the two stories plus attic needed alteration to adapt to 21st century lifestyles.
Working with the Landmarks Preservation Commission, the existing front dormers were given a major facelift and allowed for two bedrooms at the front of the attic. Raising the rear cornice to match the neighbors’ then allowed a rear attic guest bedroom and en-suite bath with comfortable ceiling heights.
The ground level, designed around the kitchen, was meant to be the main living floor. The existing footprint proved too small to accommodate the family’s living, dining, and kitchen space, so we again worked with Landmarks to design a small addition, just less than six feet, that allowed the three spaces to fit comfortably across the open floor plan.
The biggest challenge was converting the cellar into a large family room that didn’t feel like it was underground. To achieve this, the yard was dug out to allow an areaway that allowed light through wide, full height doors. With direct access to the rear yard and lots of natural light, the lower level has become a pleasant space for informal living and the perfect way to repurpose existing space for the family’s needs.