Pink Amidst the Brownstones

Among the variety of life’s peculiar spices, there are certain spices I just love to hate with a delightful sense of passionate heartburn: the “Pink House” of Park Slope, for example. Back in the 1960s, when a more colorful because more radical style pervaded the air (superficially, at least) a man by the name of Bernie Henry was apparently in sync with the times. One day he apparently became so overpowered with that flower power age that he decided on an appropriately flowery response…he painted his brownstone domicile a bubble gum or Pepto-Bismol pink.

Park Slope, in the 1960s, was far from being colorful and even further away from being flowery; in fact, the neighborhood was in a crumbling state of dilapidation. Henry’s house quickly became known as the “Pink House” and its pink-coated effrontery defied the prevailing decline of his neighborhood; a hilariously radical move amid hysterically radical days. The four-story, three family pink brownstone has been laughing for over forty years and, now that Park Slope is laughing-all-over gentrified, is selling for $2.295 million dollars…or so they thought:

Bloggers and even the Daily News were buzzing this week that Bernie Henry, who famously painted his classic Park Slope brownstone salmon pink in the 1960s, was selling the empty nest and moving to a smaller place nearby.

But the house is not on the market, a real-estate source told The Brooklyn Paper, because Henry’s grandson is under investigation for forging key documents that have put a cloud over who has legal ownership of the building.

Henry is 92 now, his wife recently passed away, but the house is as pink and popular as ever. While the building’s unique color scheme gets the most attention, its interior remains unseen by most people. Those who have inside information on the house speak “glowingly” of “exquisite woodwork,” “ornate cabinets” and “double parlor floor with amazing mantels.” (click here for interior photos)

The listing did not mention the home’s most important exterior feature. After all, Griffin pointed out, a purchaser would likely strip off the flushed finish — which Henry repainted to be even more pink three years ago — in favor of a traditional brownstone look. Some Park Slopers think that would be a shame.

(originally posted: 10/16/09)

Source: The Brooklyn Paper

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