Pitched as one of a stretch of “unusual houses” by the developer in 1910, this Park Slope brick row house was designed to give buyers the feel of a private one-family with the bonus of a rental unit to pay the bills. Located a short stroll from Prospect Park, 384 9th Street still retains its two-family arrangement along with some of the features promised in that 1910 ad, including parquet floors and large living and dining rooms.
While two-family houses were not uncommon in the late 19th century in Brooklyn, one particular type that emerged in the early 20th century consisted of two duplex apartments, each with their own private entrance. They became known as Kinko houses after the Kings & Westchester Land Company, which designed and built the first examples in 1905.
This row, which stretches from 384 to 406 9th Street, was constructed by one of the developers who leapt on the popularity of the city-style dwelling to design and build their own. In this case, Walter L. Johnson hired frequent collaborator architect Constantine Schubert. The row, which is just a block outside of the Park Slope Historic District, shows the mix of revival styles popular at the time, with a bit of Colonial, Medieval and Renaissance Revival combined in the brick and stone facades.
Despite the loss of its original diamond paned windows, seen in the historic tax photo, No. 384 still retains significant exterior details, including its patterned brick facade, pedimented door surrounds (one for each unit), bay window with ogee arch surround and cornice.
The house hasn’t changed hands since the late 1960s and there are plenty of original Arts and Crafts style details intact, including mantels, beamed ceilings and built-ins. There’s also room for upgrades, such as removing dropped ceilings in the upper unit and carpeting shown in one of the bedrooms. The listing describes the look as evoking “dignified rusticity.”
Both units have living, dining and kitchen on one floor with three bedrooms and one full bath above. The first-floor unit has access to the garden via the kitchen and to the extension’s roof deck via a French door in a bedroom.
Stairs lead to laundry in the cellar, which can also be accessed via a door from the street. The upper unit is a triplex with a bonus bedroom and half bath on the top floor, along with access to the roof.
In the lower unit, there are mantels in the living room and dining room, both with their original inserts. The living room still has its beamed ceiling along with what looks like an original light fixture and a window seat. The dining room still has its wainscoting, plate shelf and built-ins, although the ceiling needs some attention. The woodwork in both apartments might benefit from freshening up the varnish as well.
The upstairs unit has an interesting Arts and Crafts-style tile fireplace surround with original insert, logs and andirons. The dining room, smaller than the one in the lower floor unit, has a plate shelf but no built-ins.
Both kitchens have slab front wood cabinets and exposed brick walls. The lower-unit kitchen is in a rear extension with room for a half bath.
None of the bathrooms are pictured, although the listing mentions claw-foot tubs and showers in each of the full baths.
Listed with Douglas Wagner of Bond, it is priced at $3,938,400. Worth the ask?