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The Insider: Spectacular arched windows on rear facade upgrade Park slope Neo-Fed inside and out


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At 5,000-plus square feet and chock full of intact details, the circa-1910 Neo-Federal brick townhouse was grand to begin with.

Its biggest drawback? The location of the kitchen in the rear extension, blocked off from the rest of the house. “There was a time when the household had a staff, the kitchen was in the basement,” said architect and founding partner Brendan Coburn of The Brooklyn Studio (formerly known as CWB Architects). Later, a butler’s pantry in a rear first-floor addition was converted into “an insanely narrow, austere galley kitchen,” Coburn said. The new homeowners, a young family of four, “wanted the same thing that most people want these days: a kitchen that everyone can hang out in.”

The Dumbo-based company was behind an intervention, moving the kitchen to the center of the house and planning a dining area in the back. Then came a bold stroke: the architects came up with the idea of ​​creating a dining room with a curved bay window inspired by streamlined trains like the fabled 20th Century Limited, in operation from 1902 to the 1960s. “It would be like being in a dining car connected to the garden where you could hang around for a long time,” Coburn said. “And we didn’t increase the footprint of the expansion one bit.”

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