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Five-Alarm Design

A nineteenth-century Fort Greene firehouse gets an update for the ages.


Photographs by Dean Kaufman

Illustration by Jason Lee  

In 2008, fashion stylist Scott Newkirk ran across a listing for a 3,000-square-foot two-story loft in a defunct firehouse in Fort Greene. Renovation was already under way when he snapped it up, but, says Newkirk, “Since I discovered it early enough, I was able to make suggestions on the bathroom tiles and fixtures, and other simple but powerful decisions that establish the spirit of a space.” No neophyte when it comes to creating ambience (he once built a 300-square-foot cabin upstate), he opted to keep the loft’s original iron staircase (“It worked with my vision”), but used an ebony stain and high-gloss polyurethane on the floors. To punch up the neutral palette, he incorporated modern and contemporary wood furnishings, olive cashmere curtains with custom-made brass curtain rods, and bountiful art. In addition to providing an inspirational blank canvas, the firehouse gave Newkirk enough room to showcase his forthcoming furniture collection ( “It’s become a laboratory for my creativity, a living showroom,” he says. “I finally found a space where my point of view could flourish.”

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