As one of 16 designers I was invited to participate in the inaugural Brooklyn Heights Designer Showhouse. Being a Brooklyn resident for eighteen years and never having done a showhouse I jumped at the opportunity. I was designated the laundry room, which comprised of a ceramic sink, a towel rail and a past-its-best washer and dryer. The room had not been renovated in any way, shape or form in decades, so we had our work cut out for us. What my team and I did immediately love and appreciate were the 9 ft ceiling, South facing window and all that untapped potential - in other words a blank canvas!
The grand 5 storey townhouse at 32 Livingston Street was built in the 1860s in an early Brooklyn Heights Neo-Greco style that emerged after the Civil War, During its 150 year history the landmark townhouse has had its fair share of illustrious owners, including Stewart & Marian Pratt, members of the Brooklyn family for whom the Pratt Institute is named; Dr William Dudley Jr, who specialized in otolaryngology at Long Island College Hospital (LICH) in Cobble Hill, which his father co-founded and Robert Feemster Chairman of Dow Jones.
Michael Milner Cooper, who along with his parents have owned the house since 1960 has been dedicated in gradually restoring the house to its original grandeur. The Brooklyn Heights Association collaborating with Karin and Saul Cooper, graciously agreed to open their home for the Designer Showhouse.