Sunday, March 29, 2009
☞ WALK: Harlem's Little Flatirons
Strolling down West Harlem into Central Harlem, one will notice many angled corners on the streetscape with buildings that fit their off-the-grid angles. Following an old postal road and once known as Harlem Lane, St. Nicholas Avenue breaks Manhattan's severe grid system and crosses southwest Harlem sharply. Because of this intersecting avenue, many buildings constructed at the turn of the century have the familiar Flatiron architectural profile that one finds off Madison Square downtown. Although the St. Nicholas structures are relatively small at an average of only six stories high, they still provide all of the charms of their bigger, more famous brother. See the previous post on Harlem Trotters for more on Harlem Lane in the mid-19th century.
In Central Harlem, St. Nicholas Avenue starts its diagonal at 124th Street and Manhattan Avenue at its northwest end and finishes at Central Park North and Lenox Avenue/Malcolm X at the southeast portion.