The townhouse belonging to Evelyn and Everett Ortner, who made historic preservation cool and all of their friends rich, has come on the market with an asking price of $4.8 million. The Ortners, who passed away in 2006 and 2012, respectively, and were anointed "the original gentrifiers" in 2004 by the Times, bought the 1886 four-story brownstone in 1963 for $32,000, convinced their friends to also buy townhouses in the neighborhood, and spent the next half century campaigning tirelessly for Park Slope historic preservation. Their own house serves as a shining example with original mahogany woodwork, parquetry ornamentation, lincrusta wallpaper, the original heating system, and other quaint details such as speaking tubes, converted gas lights, and what is possibly the oldest inclinator for handicapped accessibility. A lot of listings in Park Slope, where prices have seemingly climbed above even the brokers' wildest dreams, are trying their hardest to approximate historic authenticity. This place, on the other hand, is the real deal.
· Listing: 272 Berkeley Place [Vandenberg]
· COPING; The Couple Who Saved Park Slope [NYT]
· A Couple Who Gave Brownstones New Life [NYT]