Thursday, April 16, 2009

☞ PROTECT: 158th Street Row Houses

From Today's New York Times, Harlem Bespoke wanders up slightly past the northern borders of Harlem to discuss Manhattan's newest landmark district. The photo of 648 West 158th street, corner row house could possibly be the most charming house in the West 158th Street neighborhood, if restored and renovated properly. The problem is that the Landmarks Commission wanted only to landmark the luxury Riverside Apartments in the area of 155th to 158th Street, which is the Audubon Park District. The irony of it all would be that the area's namesake is naturalist John James Audubon, who built his house in the then wooded hills of Washington Heights in the mid 19th century. This type of housing stock is even more rare above 155th Street and to have a complete row of them even more so. Don't get us wrong, the Riverside apartments are grand and beautiful, but many of them are well preserved and will never be in danger of disappearing. The rowhouses are already surrounded by a large, out-dated looking building from the less than kind era of the 60's and 70's, so saving them could help keep this section more in line with the vision of its founder. See the article in the Times for pictures of the block and also information on the buying the corner house. LINK. Take the 1 train to 158th Street and head over to Riverside Drive.

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