Before & After:Hancock Street

Acquired by Dixon Leasing in complete disrepair, the 15-foot-wide brownstone on Hancock Street in Bed-Stuy came partially gutted with little architectural detail left behind. While not an ideal starting point, this did give the Dixon Projects team a clean slate for a renovation that would maximize the relatively narrow row house's living spaces while adding some sorely needed light throughout.

Designed as a single-family home in 1877, by the 1930s, the building was offering furnished rooms to lodgers, and in 1953, it was converted to include one full apartment with seven SRO units above. Opening up these former small spaces, while adding an appropriate number of spacious bedrooms was the team's first objective.


Throughout the home, finishes and fixtures are light and uncluttered in an effort to accentuate the sense of space and air in this slender home. Recessed lighting, versus hanging fixtures, allow one to appreciate the full ceiling heights while uniform plank floors create a sense of momentum. Small touches, like the liberal use of pocket doors instead of swing doors, reclaim precious space.

Upon entry on the parlor floor, the eye is immediately drawn to the stunning book-matched, stone-clad gas fireplace in the sunny living room. Far from dominating the space, its massive scale and clean lines accentuate the tall ceiling heights and add drama to a room formerly crowded by an entry hall.

Staircase After