Tour a Brooklyn Brownstone Transformed Into 3 Apartments for Grown Siblings

The whole family, under one roof in Fort Greene.

Photo: Francis Dzikowski/OTTO
Photo: Francis Dzikowski/OTTO

Well, this was nice: I recently stumbled on a brownstone in Fort Greene that a businessman and his wife transformed — with the help of architect Alexandra Barker of Barker Freeman — into three separate apartments for their three grown children, and their families.

“It had already been butchered,” architect Alexandra Barker, principal at Barker Freeman Design Office, said of the handsome, turn-of-the-century brownstone in Fort Greene’s landmarked district that her team recently renovated. “But the floors were okay, and we restored what we could.” The entry doors have been painted Benjamin Moore’s Midnight Navy, and the new floor tiles are from Mosaic House. Photo: Francis Dzikowski/OTTO
The parlor-floor apartment is now part of a duplex for one of the daughters and her husband and child. The original ten-foot mahogany doors, at left, open to the living area of the apartment, looking toward the kitchen. Photo: Francis Dzikowski/OTTO
Three duplex apartments were created in the building, requiring “new internal stairs connecting each pair of floors,” Barker explains. “All the new stairs had residual space around them, and we worked to find ways to creatively use the space around the stairs. Here, we carved out a little study nook.” Each family tenant has their own individual “architectural amuse bouche” as a result of the stair design. Photo: Francis Dzikowski/OTTO
The open kitchen of the parlor floor has a rear deck with stairs that go down to the garden below. Photo: Francis Dzikowski/OTTO
The deep-blue color of the front entrance doors is carried on in the design of the house “as an organizing thread throughout the common spaces as well as within the units,” Barker says. Photo: Francis Dzikowski/OTTO
The garden apartment has been converted to a basement duplex, as seen here, with wide-plank white-oak floors and a staircase that allows for a storage area, seating, and access to the floor below, where a wood-lined walk-in closet has been created beneath the structure. Photo: Francis Dzikowski/OTTO
The living room of the garden apartment has its original fireplace and wood window shutters. Photo: Francis Dzikowski/OTTO
Below, in the basement level, Barker says, “the arched supports of the central foundation wall frame opens into a study,” seen here, as well as a bathroom (not shown). This is such a lovely design perk, taking advantage of original structural elements. Photo: Francis Dzikowski/OTTO
The walk-in, wood-lined closet under the stairs of the basement apartment is a luxurious surprise. Photo: Francis Dzikowski/OTTO
The third floor, shown here, is part of a duplex shared by one of the children and his partner, as well the parents, who have a pied-à-terre in the back. “We wanted to create a double-height space with the stair opening,” Barker says. “Using the mesh was a way to allow light to still filter through and to also allow the stair to be a sculptural focal point at the same time.” Photo: Francis Dzikowski/OTTO
The kitchen on the third floor has plenty of room to spare; it’s shared with the parents when they are in the city. Photo: Francis Dzikowski/OTTO
The bathroom on the fourth floor has tiles from Dal Tile and a wooden vanity from Wetstyle. Photo: Francis Dzikowski/OTTO
Shelving surrounds the master bed on the fourth floor. Photo: Francis Dzikowski/OTTO
The roof deck offers a magnificent view of the Brooklyn Masonic Temple where the whole family can meet. Photo: Francis Dzikowski/OTTO
A Brownstone Transformed Into Apartments for Grown Siblings