Clinton Hill

Architectural eye candy — and celebs, we’re fairly certain — on Brooklyn’s Gold Coast, AKA Clinton Avenue

Eye On Real Estate: Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis probably bought a Clinton Hill mansion

April 8, 2015 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The New York Post and other publications have reported that A-Listers Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis possibly bought a Clinton Avenue mansion. Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
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Ah, the gorgeous Gold Coast.

That’s what Clinton Avenue was called more than a century ago when a high concentration of Brooklyn’s wealthiest citizens congregated in Clinton Hill and did their share of luxury home-building.

In the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, many big-bucks Brooklynites followed oil tycoon Charles Pratt’s example — he constructed mansions for his sons on Clinton Avenue — and also built splendid homes on the seven-block section of the avenue between Myrtle and Atlantic Avenues.

We learned all about Mansion Central (that’s our expression, not the historians’) from the city Landmarks Preservation Commission’s 1981 designation report about the Clinton Hill Historic District.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

We’ve been fixated on the Gold Coast ever since Corcoran Group’s Deborah Rieders told us about a co-op she was marketing at nearby 135 Clinton Ave. that landed a buyer very quickly.

We’re wildly enamored with a bunch of these Gold Coast mansions.

One of the niftiest of them is 1880s-vintage 405 Clinton Ave., which has generated lots of buzz lately — and not because Charles Adolph Schieren, who was the Mayor of Brooklyn in 1893, lived there.

In late February, the New York Post reported that A-Listers actress Olivia Wilde and “Saturday Night Live” alumnus Jason Sudeikis had been spotted in Clinton Hill with their baby, and coincidentally, a nine-bedroom mansion had just sold on Clinton Avenue for $6.5 million. posted a follow-up story that supplied a link identifying the house in question as 405 Clinton Ave. as well as a link to the listing for the couple’s Meatpacking District condo, which they had put up for sale “with the intention of moving to Brooklyn for more space,” the story said.  

After reading the deeds for both residences in city Finance Department records, we can explain why it’s likely Wilde and Sudeikis did indeed buy 405 Clinton Ave. through two trusts.

Two trustees are identified by name on the deed as purchasers, Eric Binder and Mark Landesman.

Binder and Landesman are also the only two trustees identified by name on the 2012 purchase deed for Wilde’s and Sudeikis’ condo at 66 Ninth Ave.

Also, Binder is the registered agent for various corporations of which Wilde is the president, online business listings indicate.

By the way, Landesman, the founder of ML Management Associates, is a business manager for entertainment clients. He has been working for “Saturday Night Live” stars since the early 1980s, according to a profile about him in The Hollywood Reporter.

There’s one other mansion we feel compelled to mention because it’s Sooo Pretty — stunning 1880s-vintage 278 Clinton Ave.,

The Landmarks Preservation Commission’s designation report says is “surely the most eccentric house in the historic district.” Sometimes being eccentric is a good thing.

The red-brick and limestone-trimmed mansion has a massive stone front porch that’s cut off on its southeast corner by an angled bay that rises the full three-story height of the house.

“The fanciful rectangular bay lends the house a character that is unmatched in Brooklyn,” the designation report notes. Bravo, we say.

The window-studded bay has a crown on top — and a balcony two-thirds of the way up that would make an astonishing set for Juliet to play her famous scene in “Romeo and Juliet.” If a theater group were to ask the homeowners (identified in city Finance Department records as Alfred and Doris Porter) to rent out their property for some outdoor Shakespeare, the front lawn has room to seat a big audience.

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