Anyone who has ever considered buying a historic home at the low end of the price scale must be prepared to look beyond modern ‘improvements’ (vinyl siding, metal roofs, sheetrock) and make a concerted effort to picture the home as it was in the past. And even if you happen to possess x-ray vision, you will then need buckets of money to restore such a home to its original condition (or a version thereof). Which is why when a lovingly-preserved property such as this nineteeth century house on Front Street, in Greenport, comes on the market, it is worth taking note.
Located on First St., which used to be known as Sea Captain’s Row, the two-story, 2044-square-foot home was built in 1874. It has 3 bedrooms, 1 full bathroom and 1 half bathroom and sits on .26 of an acre. Listed at $729,000 with Jerry Cibulski at Century 21 Albertson Realty.
Why We Love It
The town-and-country location. It is removed from the business district, but it’s just a block and a half to the village and Mitchell Park.
The wide front porch. “A century ago it was common to sit on the front porch and socialize with your neighbors,” says Cibulski.
Massive floor-to-ceiling windows. Notes Cibulski, “They’re reminiscent of the kinds of windows you find in Southern plantation homes.”
Twelve-foot-high ceilings that give the place an airy feel and make the room cooler (because heat rises).
Amazing plasterwork. “The interior walls of many historic homes have been sheetrocked over,” says Cibulski, “but in this house, you have plaster ceilings, plaster walls, and plaster crown moldings. It’s a rare find.”
Original mahogany floors throughout.
The receiving parlor with its etched glass doors. According to Cibulski, time was “the lady of the house would take the guests’ calling cards whereupon she would either welcome them into the drawing room or shut the glass doors and sit with them in the receiving parlor.”
Period details. The corbels over the front door are still intact, and a dramatic curving staircase connects the ground and second floors. “The combination of the staircase and the high ceilings is visually stunning,” says Cibulski. And then there’s the French mansard roof which features copper-seamed metal roofing, which allows better heat transfer than an asphalt shingle roof does.
A bathroom as big as a bedroom. When the house was originally built, the privy was in the back yard, as was customary back in the day. But somewhere down the line, one of the bedrooms was converted into a bathroom for good effect.
The Vision Thing
Who is the ideal buyer for such a house? “An antique home lover with style and flair.” says Cibulski. “Most people looking for a home on the North Fork gravitate toward shingle-style structures, while this place skews Victorian.” He says he would repaint the jewel-toned house white. Doing so would highlight the original architectural details as well as the fretwork on the porch. “It would give the place,” says Cibulski, “a funky Brooklyn loft vibe while retaining its North Fork flavor.”