A Former Clock Factory Stands the Test of Time – 420 12th Street, J-4L

We’re a fool for residential conversions.  Older buildings, many of which would never be duplicated today, bring with them the vestiges of the past.  Ansonia Court in Park Slope is one such building, offering turn-of-the century elements with today’s modernity.

Penthouse J-4L at 420 12th Street is an apartment that delivers at every level. The historic details hook you in immediately, imbuing warmth and comfort.  Stunning arched windows, walls of original brick and exquisite wood beamed ceilings touch the soul.  And thus, the newest edition of our “Apartments We Love” series. 

The landmarked Ansonia Court opened in 1881 as the Ansonia Clock Company factory.  It remained as such until 1929 when the company dissolved.  The building’s footprint, shaped like a square, stretches from 12th Street to 13th Street along 7th Avenue framing a vast interior courtyard.  The structure itself has essentially stood the test of time (pun intended).

Apartment J-4L is a loft-style residence that can be used as either a three bedroom or a two bedroom with a home office.  The top floor corner apartment is flush with light.  Yes, here in Park Slope, the fourth floor typically represents a building’s highest point.  There are eleven arched windows in total, bringing forever blue skies into the home.  

There are two distinct components to the residence, a common area consisting of a spacious living/dining room (20’3”x18’11”) and an open windowed kitchen.  The bedroom wing currently shows two bedrooms separated by a home office, a laundry room and two full baths. 

No part of the apartment is without character and subtle details that help create a perfect home to be.  Aside from the previously mentioned historic elements, the living room offers a gas fireplace, cushioned windowed seating and some modest custom millwork.  New oak floors compliment the entire apartment.

The dining area comfortably sits five and includes a built-in banquet.  The kitchen, much like the rest of the living area, offers a simple design so as to not distract from the apartment’s original character.  Shaker style cabinets with integrated appliances and brass pulls set the style.  A farmhouse sink continues with the less is more aesthetic.  But the trick to the kitchen is that the wall of cabinets, as well as the integrated refrigerator, are pretty much hidden from view.  The view from the living room showcases a display wall of wood shelves held by a collection of classic iron brackets.  

The corner primary bedroom is a wonderful room, spacious and light while harking back to the building’s early roots.  Four arched windows provide incredible light and views of neighboring rooftops.  Cushioned window seats add a splash of color.  The remodeled en suite bath offers a deep soaking tub and a separate stall shower.   

The second and third bedrooms both enjoy the same arched windows as the rest of the apartment.  The bricks in the second bedroom have been painted white and change the mood a bit.  The second bath is just outside its door.  The vintage double sink and the wainscotting add charm.  

We might add that there is one more perk to this apartment.  The unit enjoys the rights to a 44’x36’ rooftop (with board approval). 


Ansonia Court is a unique property and a favorite destination among Brooklynites. Apartments here, once taken to market, simply don’t last long.  This home, currently under contract, was introduced to the market less than six weeks ago at $2.195 million.   It is being represented by the Corcoran team of Jessica Buchman, Bryan Rettaliata, and Susan Studwell. For further information or just a voyeuristic peek at this special home, please check out Linecity.com

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