This limestone by classic 19th century Brooklyn architect Benjamin Driesler got a 21st century Passive House makeover, complete with triple pane windows, rooftop solar panels and some interesting design touches on the interior. Just blocks from Grand Army Plaza, the house at 154 Underhill Avenue is located in the Prospect Heights Historic District.
The Renaissance Revival style row house with a brownstone-clad basement, angled bay and bracketed cornice was designed by Driesler and built circa 1906 as a two-family home. It got a major overhaul in 2012 by architects Thread Collective focused on energy efficiency and eco-friendly details. The reno also turned the house back into a two-family dwelling after years of being cut up into four separate apartments.
It’s now configured as a duplex over a garden rental. The duplex starts with a fairly open floor plan that positions the living room in the front, kitchen in the center and dining in the rear. There’s some original woodwork at the entry, including door surrounds, a pier mirror and the staircase, but the striking herringbone patterned wood floor is reclaimed barn wood. There’s recessed lighting, using LED bulbs, and a projector that pops out from under the staircase for at-home viewing events.
The sleek kitchen has oak cabinetry, white Corian countertops and a quirky custom plate holder incorporated into the backsplash. Across from the island, again of Corian and wood, a herringbone patterned wood wall disguises the doors to a walk-in pantry and a half bath. The kitchen is open to a dining room with a beamed ceiling and a built-in glass cabinet. Beyond it is a den tucked into the rear extension with a bay window.
Upstairs are three bedrooms, including a master with en-suite bathroom, a wall of closets, a built-in desk nook and a door leading out to a terrace. There are two full baths upstairs. The master has a soaking tub, walk-in shower and a surprisingly brightly colored encaustic tile floor. The more sedate shared bath has white fixtures and blue penny tiles with white grout cladding the walls and floor.
The laundry for the duplex is in the stairwell of the basement floor of the house. The duplex also has access to the cellar, where there is storage and a finished area currently decked out as a gym.
There aren’t any photos of the garden apartment, but the listing describes a three-bedroom space with original parquet floors, another kitchen with Corian counters and high-end appliances — including a Viking stove and range — and a full size washer and dryer.
Out back is a stone-paved patio with stone planting beds and a horizontal cedar fence.
The roof-top solar panels result in an “almost” net zero energy cost, according to the listing. In addition to triple-paned windows throughout, there’s six inches of insulation, and the interior temperature of each room can be regulated individually.
The house last sold in 2011, before the renovation, for $1.05 million. It’s now on the market asking $3.495 million and listed by Greg Mire and Jessica Perrizo of Compass. What do you think?