Thursday, July 28, 2011

☞ REMEMBER: History at 72 Hamilton Terrace

A reader had the below family history to share on the abandoned house at 72 Hamilton Terrace that was formerly the Nazareth Deliverance Church in West Harlem and 144th Street:

My Paternal grandfather owned and lived in this mansion before it became a church. I have no idea at this time how it fell out of the family's hands. However, It did so over 50 years ago. My father was born and grew up in the mansion. However, he never to my knowledge had anything to do with it's ownership. My grandfather's name was Charles Paul Goldsmith. My father was Charles Paul Goldsmith Jr. His brother, my uncle, changed his name from Goldsmith because of antisemitism in the music industry at the time, and became Bob Hilliard.

Bob Hilliard was a song writer and is in the Song Writer's hall of fame. He also grew up in the house. Charles Paul Goldsmith Sr. was a jeweler, and also an inventor of items having to do with jewelry. The jewelry business he owned bore his own name "Charles P. Goldsmith" and was fairly well known. My Father, Charles Jr. was born in 1910 and I have a picture from about 1915 of him on a couch in the living room of the mansion. I also have a copy of an old picture of the front of the mansion, the original had been torn, and belonged to my half sister. Charles Jr. was Married to my mother in 1942 and I was born in 1943. The earliest I can date the ownership by the Goldsmith family is 1901, but I don't think that date has anything to do with its date of construction.

I do know that the Paul Goldsmith Sr. still owned the mansion at the time of my birth and for several years after that. My father and mother divorced a short time after I was born, and due to a strange set of circumstances that I will not get into here, I was adopted away from the family. My name prior to my adoption was Charles Paul Goldsmith the third. I am out of time for now, but will try to add more later.


  1. very interesting. Thank you for sharing some of your family and neighbourhood history.

  2. Thanks so much for sharing your family's story. Very interesting to read.

  3. I grew up across the street from 72 I lived in building 63 for over 30 years . The place I knew as 72 Hamilton Terrace was a almost sort of Boarding house where Adults partied on the weekends including my Mother . There was a lady that lived there name Wilarene, she baby sat the kids in the block , iron shirts for money . And gave partys on the weekend . I have fond memories of 72. Although I was just a kid I will never forget the people of 72 Hamilton Terrace . If you have ever seen the hbo Movie Lackawanna Blues it could just as well have been 72 Hamilton Terrace...

    1. I've grown up in the neighborhood for 40 years. Once I build my funds I will own 72 Hamilton and build it to it's original state.