A Harlem New York Brownstone Townhome

NYC TownhouseI saw photos of this brownstone this morning.  It is amazing to me that there are people who still do not appreciate these beautiful structures.  My understanding is this building was purchased last year by an investor and is now being flipped.  There is no way that I would sell a home like this.  I would have to fix it and live in it myself.

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Troy Home Restored

628x471 7A really lovely couple experienced a devastating fire in their beautiful brownstone in the Washington park neighborhood of Troy, NY in 2010.

Thank God that everyone got out safely.

Everyone was in shock.

I remember being at work at the time and receiving an email about it as it was happening.  The force of the fire had blown out some windows of the house next door which is owned by a friend of mine.

628x471 3This was a stunning site for everyone in the community.

628x471 8

Chupka HouseIt took two years, but the brownstone has been restored.

628x471 5All windows had to be replaced and decorative molding that survived repaired.

628x471 9Original bathroom floor tiles survived.

kitchen 2Mantel being installed in the kitchen.

kitchenA glimpse of the kitchen BEFORE the fire.

stairsThe brownstone is three stories high.  Here the wood railings were sanded and refinished.

stairwell 3


the study roomStudy room restored.

handpainted ceilingHand-painted ceiling

second floor apartmentUpstairs apartment restored.

Troy Architecture shots_88This is another house a block away from the one that went ablaze.  I think this one is still a single family.  You can see how lovely Washington park is with its beautiful brownstones.

Troy is such an architecturally beautiful place, so from a preservationists standpoint it is  doubly devastating when we lose any building by fire or demolition.  We are happy that no one was physically harmed in this fire and that the home could be saved.

Photos courtesy of Albany Times Union

What A Lovely Day!

Xenia HomeOh my goodness!

Today I had the honor of conducting a home tour.

These lovely people were in town from Florida visiting their old childhood city.  Coming back here brought back so many memories for them and I was glad to be of assistance.

I grew up in Brooklyn, and Troy reminds me a lot of my growing up years.  I wish I could go back there and see the first two apartments that my family lived in when we first came to America.  I am very sentimental in that way.

I had promised to give periodic tours of my home when I finished the restoration.  It isn’t finished, but if you wait for the perfect time to do something it will never come.  So I offered up the tour.

I found it a lot of fun, and I loved it when they asked questions as I took them from room to room.  I would definitely do it again.

Old World Interiors In Brooklyn, New York

40 remsen Street aAll of the photos are of Victorian home interiors in Brooklyn, New York where I grew up.  This explains how I cultivated my love of older homes.  I did not have this appreciation from the start though.  It took me several years to cultivate my love for older homes.  When I was a little girl, if I went to the house of family or friends and saw this kind of interior (which was often) I would think to myself how down right old-fashioned, and thank goodness homes were no longer built that way.  It was not until I reached my twenties that my love of older homes started to take shape.

My first apartment was in a building that was built some time before WWI.  The lobby was a work of art in itself with all the mosaic tile, brass and stained glass windows.  The apartment that I rented was so spacious.  The foyer was so big that I thought surely it qualified to be called a room.  Every room was huge and the ceilings were very high.  Even though I had grown up living in old historic buildings my appreciation for them did not come about until my very early twenties.  When I would go to visit my friends who rented in newer buildings, I noticed how boxy and nondescript their apartments were.  Then I would return to mine that had so much old world character and I noticed the difference.  Today I am a staunch supporter of historic preservation.


32 Livingston St Brooklyn Heigts


40 remsen St


40 remsen Street brooklyn


40 remsen Street


28 Midwood ST brooklyn


28 midwood st b


8th Street Park Slope b


179 E 94th


204 Dean Street b


447 4th Street park slope a


Lincoln Place a


Lincoln Place


President street a


President street b


President street c


Presidents street d

Source of all photos above


Here is the interior of the apartment I lived in with my family from age nine to nineteen.   I typed in the address a several months ago and was delighted to find photos of the very apartment we lived in.  The three family house was built in 1901.  I may have posted these pictures before.

Brooklyn childhood home

Brooklyn childhood home a

Brooklyn childhood home b