The two-story clapboard house with dormers may be more modest than one would expect for a Vanderbilt, the great Gilded Age family who amassed an unspeakable amount of wealth through the railroad industry. But nonetheless, Cornelius Jeremiah (Corneel) Vanderbilt once occupied this home at the corner of Flatbush Avenue and Chester Court, right near the Prospect-Lefferts Gardens border to Prospect Park. While its unclear when Corneel lived in the house, its relative modesty compared to his family's lifestyle is not: his father the railroad magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt (with whom he shares a first name) was unimpressed with his son who was subject to epilepsy, then taken as a form of "weakness." From the get-go the two Vanderbilts had a rocky relationship, culminating when Corneel was largely left-out of his deep-pocketed father's will. The in-debt Corneel did not lead a happy life. He ended it in 1882, at the age of 52. Shout out to commenters Ferryboi,
REspectator, and Midtown West for nailing this one, and adding to the conversation with this awesome sketch of Cornelius Sr.'s similar-looking boyhood home on Staten Island.
· Cornelius Jeremiah Vanderbilt [Find A Grave]
· Hint: A Man With A Great Last Name Once Resided Here [Curbed]
· Cornerspotter archives [Curbed]