The top photo from 1905 shows the new 1 train subway stations at 157th street and Broadway (the two small stair gatehouse entrances are at the lower right) where naturalist painter John James Audubon used to have his sprawling family estate (click to enlarge). At the turn of the last century, the subways brought rapid change to the sleepy hills of Harlem and Washington Heights and owners of farmland ended up selling their property to developers. The heirs of Audubon slowly sold off the family property from 155th Street to 158th and the luxury beaux arts apartments that still remain today have been designated as landmarks last year as part of the Audubon Park Historic District. The center photo shows Audubon's actual house in the 1920's and the new apartment buildings can be seen peering from the background. None of the 19th century wood frame structures in the top two photos have survived past the Depression years of the 1940's.
In commemoration of J.J. Audubon's 227th birthday, there will be a celebratory event this Saturday, April 28th, 3:00 PM at the Riverside Oval located at 156th Street and Riverside Drive (lower photo) which was the site of one of Audubon's barns. Check out the new landmark district uptown, admire the flora, meet the neighbors and eat some cake! Get more information about the historic district on the official website: LINK. Read more about the Audubon estate on the outskirts of Harlem and Washington Heights in our past post: LINK.