The Crazy-Stablish house down the block is for sale! Do you have the soul...the stomach...the half-million dollars-plus (a steal, I'm told)...to embark on a like journey and restore this gorgeous ruin?
The owners, a doctor and his wife, were old-timers here when we arrived 20 years ago. I am put in mind of this morsel of P.G. Wodehouse:
"A writer, describing Blandings Castle in a magazine article, had once said: 'Tiny mosses have grown in the cavities of the stones, until, viewed near at hand, the place seems shaggy with vegetation.' It would not have been a bad description of the proprietor."
If interested in sensitive restoration, go here to Mary Kay, the doyenne of Victorian Flatbush real estate...or read up on Brownstoner, here...and know that I will ply you with a welcome wagon of brownies, lemonade, and empathy. If interested in knocking it down to replace it with a fat brick multistory monstrosity or a stucco'ed McMansion built out to the property line, go here...and know that the surrounding blocks virtually bristle with preservation-minded activist types who will watch your every move and bust your every violation faster than you can say "Dumpster."
The above-linked discussion on the Brownstoner site, by the way, explains why we are still at it 20 years later. Apparently we should have had an extra $250K to $500K lying around to finish the job, instead of an extra $25K to $50K. Aha...so that's where we went wrong!