231Cumberland-2015* 231 Cumberland Street – an antebellum transitional Greek Revival/Italianate house, located in the landmarked Fort Greene Historic District, this building was constructed on the very edge of the old John Jackson Farm. John Jackson started the Brooklyn Navy Yard, building the first ship ordered by the new U.S. government in 1798, the frigate Adams, named after President John Adams. After the house had been completed in 1852, several colorful characters emerged as owners and tenants – one of whom was a reverend and the son of the founding president of Indiana University. Throughout the research process, three interesting stories were unearthed. One was regarding the unusual shape of the property and the alley which cuts through it and runs to a curious little house at the back of the yard. The second involved the owner who was the attorney for the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, as well as for one of the more sinister mobsters portrayed in the movie “Goodfellas” – “Big Paulie” Vario. And the third concerns the bevy of 1970s-era love letters discovered during the home’s renovation which revealed an incredible connection to the current owners.

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