Cobble Hill

Get to know Cobble Hill

Cobble Hill is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Brooklyn. It is bounded by Atlantic Avenue to the north, Court Street to the east, Degraw Street to the south, and Hicks Street to the west.

The Cobble Hill Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1969 and enlarged in 2011. Cobble Hill is part of Brooklyn Community Board 6.

Serene and facilities

The picture-postcard neighborhood boasts of restaurants, diverse shopping areas, and enviable rowhouses — and the housing costs reflect that. Nearby Carroll Gardens offers a similar aesthetic but a few more family-friendly amenities, including a supermarket and public elementary school. Downtown Brooklyn is close enough for an easy commute but the neighborhood’s streets are quiet at night.

Most residents walk to work or use the nearby F and G trains. Cobble Hill is known for its brownstones. Most are townhouses connected, with a small garden in front. The architectural detail of these buildings can vary tremendously, from wooden cornices to cast-iron facades to brick fronts dating back centuries.

Cobble Hill’s main business thoroughfare runs along Atlantic Avenue from Court Street to Hicks Street and along Smith Street from Atlantic Avenue to Court Street. Cobble Hill Park sits in the center of the neighborhood between Bergen, Amity, and Congress Streets.


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Cobble Hill History & Culture

Cobble Hill – which was named after the conical shaped hill called “Cobleshill” or “Ponkiesbergh”, located where the current intersection of Atlantic Avenue, Pacific Street, and Court Street now lies – was originally settled during the 1640s by Dutch farmers when Willem Kieft, the director of New Netherland, granted patents in the area. The hill was used as a fort – known as “Cobble Hill Fort”, “Smith’s Barbette”, or “Corkscrew Fort” – during the American War of Independence; the British cut off the top of the hill during their occupation, so it could not be used to look down on their headquarters in Brooklyn Heights. They also seized the estate of Philip Livingston for use as a naval hospital. Cobble Hill was again fortified for the War of 1812, and was then called “Fort Swift”.

In 1834, the Village of Brooklyn – chartered in 1816 and primarily made up of present-day Brooklyn Heights – became a city and soon expanded south beyond Atlantic Street (now Atlantic Avenue) to include South Brooklyn.

Until the establishment of the South Ferry, which connected Atlantic Avenue to Manhattan’s Whitehall Street in 1836, South Brooklyn was primarily rural. After that time, with the guidelines for a gridiron street pattern already established in 1834, the area developed rapidly. New streets were being laid progressively, and with the development of new buildings – which started nearer to the waterfront and moved inward – the rural community slowly started changing into a middle-class suburban residential community dominated by small rows of houses, which began to be built as early as 1835. The transformation of the neighborhood was nearly completed by 1860; none of the farm houses from the neighborhood’s rural period are extant.

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