Falling down the rabbit hole in Fort Greene

You never know what you’re going to find when you start digging into the guts of an older home. Sometimes a project that presents itself as being straightforward ends up dropping you down a restoration rabbit hole. Our latest project had what you might call a… plot twist.

This brownstone was unique in the fact that it had an extra room on each of its lower floors, making it deeper than most brownstones we work on. To allow for these extra rooms, there was a wooden truss system supporting the rear brick wall. While we could see the wall was sagging slightly, we had no idea that the main beam of the truss system had completely sheared in half until we demoed the first floor. The wall was on the verge of collapse.

This surprise discovery meant we needed to take this wall down, brick by brick. Either that, or wait for the vengeful Brownstone Gods to take it down themselves in a much more dramatic fashion (and it probably would not have been a long wait, either).

So we dug in. We removed the old wooden trusses and replaced them with steel beams. The brick wall was rebuilt using as many of the original bricks as possible. And the gods rejoiced.

This brownstone was completed last month and the homeowners recently sent us some beautiful “after” shots, which you can see below.

To celebrate the completion of the project, the homeowners had a housewarming party over this past Memorial Day weekend, where they no doubt made many generous offerings to the Brownstone Gods.

You can view the full project overview (plus all our other projects over at the Howard Hall Farm Restoration Group site.)

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