Cobble Hill

Winston Churchill’s mother was born in Cobble Hill, and James Bond star Daniel Craig reportedly bought a house here

Eye on Real Estate: A historic neighborhood where LICH mega-development looms

February 28, 2018 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Daniel Craig, shown here with his wife, actress Rachel Weisz, reportedly owns a house in Cobble Hill. Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
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Winston Churchill’s mother was born in Cobble Hill. Did you know that?

And reportedly James Bond, AKA actor Daniel Craig, bought a rowhouse in Cobble Hill last year.

The Brooklyn Brownstone Belt neighborhood, whose oldest houses date back to the 1830s, is imbued with history and charm at every turn.

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

It’s a stunning place to snap photos.

But we put our camera away when we walk along the blocks where Fortis Property Group is developing the mammoth Long Island College Hospital (LICH) site.

The demise of LICH after more than a century and a half of service to Brooklyn is so distressing that we can’t bear to write about it. We’ll just point out that LICH was the first hospital in the United States where anesthesia and stethoscopes were used.


Winston Churchill came to visit in 1953

So. About Jennie Jerome, who was born in Cobble Hill and became Lady Randolph Churchill when she got married in 1874.

Her son, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, made a visit to Brooklyn in 1953 to see 426 Henry St. A plaque that’s still on the house today says that Jennie Jerome was born there.

Photos from that visit can be found in the Brooklyn Eagle’s archives, which can be accessed through the Brooklyn Public Library’s website.

According to a designation report by the city Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) about the Cobble Hill Historic District, which was published in 1969, Jerome’s parents lived at 426 Henry St. with her uncle Addison G. Jerome before she was born.

The report says she actually was born at another house in the Cobble Hill Historic District, 197 Amity St.  


Bond, James Bond

So. About the house that “007” star Craig reportedly bought last year.

The New York Post, which broke the story in January, says that Craig, who is married to acclaimed actress Rachel Weisz, made the purchase through an LLC for $6.75 million.

None of the news outlets that reported this story published the address of the property in question, so we’re not going to do so, either.

We looked in city Finance Department records at the deed for the property Craig reportedly bought.

The man who signed the deed as the purchasing LLC’s authorized signatory “advises business owners, executives, hedge fund managers, professional athletes and entertainers on lifestyle management and oversees their personal financial affairs,” his company’s website says.

A celebrity architect of yesteryear and the ‘Workingmen’s Cottages’

Speaking of celebrities, a superstar architect of yesteryear lived at 296 Clinton St.

Richard Upjohn initially designed the house, which is on the corner of Baltic Street.

It was built in 1842-1843.

The LPC designation report notes that his son, Richard Michell Upjohn, later added an annex on the Baltic Street side of the property.

In the early 1860s, the father-and-son architectural team designed the iconic Gothic Revival-style main gates of Green-Wood Cemetery.

On every street in the Cobble Hill Historic District there’s architectural eye candy to be seen.

One favorite spot for shutterbugs is the south boundary of Cobble Hill Park. The block-long stretch of Verandah Place between Clinton and Henry streets is lined with picturesque brick rowhouses, many painted in soft hues.

​The LPC’s Clinton Hill Historic District designation report says the homes nearest to Clinton Street, namely 30 Verandah Place to 40 Verandah Place, were constructed in the late 1840s.

Houses that stand side by side at 16-18 Verandah Place and 20 Verandah Place, which were constructed in the 1850s, have extra-wide second-story windows that were formerly used as hayloft doors, the designation report says.

Nearby, there’s a gated development built in 1878-1879 by philanthropist Alfred Tredway White called Warren Place Mews.

These homes, which stand in two rows on either side of a private garden, are sometimes called the Workingmen’s Cottages.

They’re “an early and noble experiment in low-cost urban housing,” the LPC’s designation report says.

Recent home sales in the neighborhood

Homes in Warren Place Mews are worth a pretty penny these days.

According to Finance Department records, in December Suzanne Naegle bought 14 Warren Place for $2.05 million.

Other recently sold Cobble Hill homes also caught our eye:

* David Resnik, trustee of Resnik Grandchildren’s Trust, bought 213 Congress St. for $6.325 million in January, Finance Department records indicate.

The LPC’s designation report says the house was built in the early 1860s.

* Steven Tomsic and Rebecca Tomsic bought 48 Tompkins Place for $4.775 million in an estate sale, Finance Department records show.

This brownstone, which has elaborately curved lintels over its doorway and parlor windows, was built in the early 1850s, LPC’s Clinton Hill Historic District designation report says.

* Nathan Lump and Charles Runnette paid $1.135 million for a co-op unit at 130 Amity St., Finance Department records indicate.

The LPC’s designation report describes 130 Amity St. as a French Second Empire brownstone built in the early 1850s.  

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