The luxurious four-story mansion at 53 Park West Avenue, with a vast garden and a pair of lions on pedestals guarding the front of the house, has a long and rich history. Park Slope, Brooklyn.
Built in 1901, just after the borough was incorporated into New York, the brick and limestone building was part of the so-called “Gold Coast” of luxury homes that emerged near Prospect Park at the turn of the last century. …
The house was designed William B. Tabby, architect of the famous Pratt family in neo-Jacobin style by order William H. Childs, financier, Progressive Party supporter of Theodore Roosevelt and founder of Bon Ami cleaning products company. The mansion remained in his family until 1947, when it was acquired by a non-profit organization. Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culturewhich, among other things, supports social justice. He used the building as a meetinghouse and for various programs.
Over the years, the William H. Childs House, as it is called, also served as a community center of sorts, and the community rented it out for everything from weddings and bar mitzvahs to concerts.
However, its next iteration is currently under development. The 30-foot-wide building overlooking Prospect Park between First and Second Streets has been up for sale for the first time in 74 years. If it sells for Asking Price $ 30 Million, and again used as a residence, it may be the most expensive home for sale in Brooklyn. (The district record was set in January with $ 25.5 million closing townhouse at 8 Montague Terrace in Brooklyn Heights; It was sold by Vincent Viola, owner of the Florida Panthers hockey team, and his wife, Teresa Viola, an interior designer.)
The mansion, which is currently classified as a commercial, was included in the first name of the historic district in 1973. The front of the house has a classic porch framed by concrete lion statues and a monumental arched doorway. The fenced yard is just under a quarter of an acre advertised as “the largest private garden in Brooklyn,” with mature trees, perennial shrubs, a paved deck, and a seating area with stone benches.
The internal area is 5,724 square feet and includes a fully finished basement that houses a large commercial kitchen and what used to be a billiard room. Judith Leaf, a broker for the Corcoran Group, which is listing properties for sale with her colleague Talia Magen, says offices in the building can be easily converted into bedrooms. The list has six bedrooms, two fully equipped bathrooms and three ladies’ toilets.
Many of the original architectural details remain intact, although in need of some maintenance and repair, including six fireplaces, parquet floors, numerous stained glass and stained glass windows, carved walnut ceilings and hand-painted friezes. The curving staircase in the lobby is decorated with carved scabbards as balusters.
On the ground floor, next to the conference room, where there is a large fireplace with rich marble edging, there is a solarium with windows, added by the Childs family in 1907. There is also a terrace on the fourth level.
“There are breathtaking views of both Prospect Park and the distant south of Prospect Park West,” said Ms. Leaf, adding that from the terrace upstairs, “you can see the house that Mr. Childs built for his daughter at 61 Prospect Park West. … ” (His daughter, Mary Childs Draper, was an early proponent of birth control and helped form the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.) High ceilings and large windows throughout the house. “There is a bright light on every floor,” she said.
Ms. Leaf sees two types of potential buyers for the mansion. “You can be a private homeowner who wants one of the most unusual places in New York,” she said. “The other could be a non-profit organization, a private school, or a museum.”
“The least likely buyer for a number of reasons,” she added, “would be a developer who is going to split it up. This is not our target audience. “
While the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture did not comment on why it was selling the mansion, Ms. Leaf noted that the group hopes to move to another location in the area. “They will look for another place that is more manageable,” she said. “This is a large and expensive property to maintain.”