Snapped up in a New York minute: 92 Argyle Road

Eye On Real Estate: And other things to know about Victorian Flatbush

November 4, 2015 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
We're leading off with this picture of The National's guitarist Aaron Dessner because his house is for sale. Robb Cohen/Invision/AP photo
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If you blinked, you missed your chance to buy this Victorian Flatbush beauty.

The Prospect Park South Historic District home in question, 92 Argyle Road, went onto the sale market right after Labor Day for a $2.8 million asking price. It’s now under contract.

“We had multiple offers,” Alexandra Reddish of Mary Kay Gallagher Real Estate, the brokerage with the listing, told Eye on Real Estate. “It’s a very pristine house. That’s why it went so quickly.”

The impeccably restored seven-bedroom frame house, designed in 1903 by important architect John Bay Slee, was back on the market after having changed hands this past January.

Husband-and-wife buyers in that deal were Michael Drake and Chiamin Liau, city Finance Department records indicate. They paid $2.5 million. The asking price had been $2.395 million and Halstead was the broker.

They had to move out of town for work, which is why they had to sell the house, Reddish explained.

We asked her about the sale market in Victorian Flatbush. She said she has been seeing buyers pursue neighborhood houses as “multi-generational homes.”

These home-shoppers want to have room for their parents when they get elderly and can’t live on their own  — or space for grown-up kids who have finished college.

Reddish mentioned that massive historic houses aren’t for everyone.

“Not everybody wants a big house,” she said. “Owning one of these homes is a labor of love.”

Aaron Dessner of The National is selling 236 Stratford Road

People who know a thing or two about Victorian Flatbush always mention that the members of The National, an indie rock band, live in the area.

Aaron Dessner, a guitarist for the group, recently put his handsomely renovated house at 236 Stratford Road up for sale for a $2.35 million asking price. It has a recording studio in its former garage.

It’s laid out as a two-family house. The band’s lead singer Matt Berninger used to rent the upstairs unit.

Brooklyn Hearth Realty has the listing, which notes that the house was built in 1899.

The mini-neighborhood it’s located in, which is not landmarked, is Beverly Square West.

A tip of the hat to Brownstoner.com for being first to report this story.

An interesting fact about Dessner: his twin brother Bryce is also a guitarist in The National.

The Travel Channel’s George Motz is renovating 112 Marlborough Road

George Motz’s ardor for his new house burns bright, even after 10 months of renovation work.

“We love it,” Motz said when we met him the other day at 112 Marlborough Road. “All those beautiful Victorian details — we saved and brought back lots of them.”

Motz and his wife Casey Benjamin bought the Prospect Park South Historic District house in January for $2 million, Finance Department records indicate.

When we earnestly quizzed Motz about his work on his lovely house, we didn’t realize he’s an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, an author and the host of the Travel Channel TV show “Burger Land.”

Had we been food-savvy enough to know this, we would asked for a list of his favorite B’KLYN burger joints.

Go to travelchannel.com to see videos of mouth-watering episodes of the show.

We say three cheers for iconic American foods, and the people with the good sense to appreciate them. Can you guess what we’re having for lunch today?

Anyway. Motz told us that new electrical wiring, new plumbing and central air conditioning have been installed at 112 Marlborough. Also, he repainted the formerly slate-gray house a lighter, historically appropriate shade he referred to as “driftwood.”

He and his family moved to the neighborhood from Park Slope, he said.

Additional tidbits about the century-old house:

* It’s a late Victorian Tudor-Colonial Revival hybrid.

* It was designed by important architect John J. Petit.

* The last time we checked up on the property a year and a half ago, the asking price had been trimmed to $2.195 million from $2.4 million.

* The researchers who wrote the neighborhood’s 1979 historic district designation report for the city Landmarks Preservation Commission thought highly of it.

“This eccentrically-massed picturesque shingled house is among the most romantic in Prospect Park South,” they wrote.

Architectural eye candy in Tom Hanks’ on-screen hometown

Recently we took the Q train to Victorian Flatbush so we could talk to the owners of the house where James Donovan, the character Tom Hanks plays in Steven Spielberg’s new movie “Bridge of Spies,” lives. See related story.

Spending time in Hanks’ on-screen home made us want to amble around and admire the rest of the stunning houses in the neighborhood. As you can see from the mix of blue skies and gray skies in the pictures we took, we were there a couple different days.

For the most part, we photographed homes that we didn’t show you the last time we binged on Flatbush Victorian architectural eye candy. Some of those stories are in the “Related Articles” section below.


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