In the summer of 2011 I was walking in Bedford Park, Bronx when I spied an especially large schist outcropping at Creston Avenue and Minerva place, wedged between Jerome Avenue and the Grand Concourse. I noticed a pair of frame houses that may have gone back over a century. While this one has survived…
…this one was demolished in the summer of 2017 in favor of, what else, a condominium tower project. Since Creston Avenue is near the ridge that the Concourse is built on, that is likely the genesis of its name. Minerva Place, meanwhile, was constructed in 1913 on the former property of financier-racetrack owner Leonard Jerome; the Jerome Park Reservoir is built at the site of the former racetrack. Jerome is buried in Brooklyn’s Greeen-Wood cemetery, and his grandson, Winston Churchill, became the wartime Prime Minister of England.
The Place either got its name from a statue of the goddess of wisdom located on the Churchill estate, or a prized race horse. The real reason is lost to history, or perhaps can be found in motheaten documents in a real estate office somewhere.