Friday, March 6, 2009
☞ ARCHITECTURE: Morris Jumel Mansion
Located in what formerly was known as Harlem Heights, this estate is located just past the northern borders of present day Harlem, within Washington Heights. This is befitting since George Washington was a guest here and used it as his headquarters when fighting against the British. The Georgian mansion was owned by the wealthiest woman in Manhattan during the early half of the 19th century, Eliza Jumel.
Story has it that Eliza Bowen was a working girl of sort when she met a wealthy French merchant who proceeded to court her seriously. Eliza then came down with a life-threatening illness, prompting her to make a wish to be married to Monsieur Jumel before dying. A priest was brought to her deathbed, and Eliza got her wish. The next day, a miracle was had since she suddenly recovered completely from her illness. Eliza became so wealthy within her marriage that, after her husband died, former vice president (and killer of neighbor Alexander Hamilton) Aaron Burr married her even though she had a scandal-filled past. Eliza divorced Mr. Burr soon after for she realized he just wanted her for her money.
The mansion has a garden in back and provides tours for walk-in guests on most days. Check out the side-bar link for further details.
65 Jumel Terrace between 160th and 161st Streets.
Nearest Transit: 163rd St (C) , 157th St (1)