Thursday, March 19, 2009
☞ ARCHITECTURE: Sylvan Terrace
On the most northern reaches of Sugar Hill, in the former Harlem Heights area of town, 20 wood frame rowhouses rest concealed from the outer neighborhood. Built in 1882 by Gilbert Robinson Jr. as a carriage drive for the Morris Jumel Mansion down the block, the narrow street still retains its original cobblestone surface. During the 1980's, the area was deemed a landmark and years of neglect were reversed over the next two decades. In the 1940s, the houses sold for $2,500 to lower-income families. Since being granted landmark status, years of stucco, aluminum siding and asphalt on the outer structures have been removed and restored to their original character. A few of the houses have come to market in the past few years with asking prices around one million. Oddly, the houses for sale with higher asking prices have been renovated with severely modern interiors. If one is to move all the way up to a historic neighborhood, then wouldn't it make sense to retain some original detail on the inside? Take the 1 train to 157th Street. Sylvan Terrace lies between 160th and 161s Street between St. Nicholas and Edgecomb Avenue.