Thursday, March 16, 2023


Harlem Bespoke:  Some signs of the old Irish neighborhood in Hamilton Heights are still around for those who choose to take a look closer.  The 135th Street signage on Amsterdam Avenue has an honorific of Vinegar Hill which was what the surrounding blocks was known as up until the early 1970s when there still were many Irish in this part of Harlem.   Then there is the fire station just west of Amsterdam on West  139th Street with Vinegar Hill clearly displayed above the entrance door.

While Central Harlem is notably uptown's black neighborhood since the 1920s, most do not know that West Harlem has a more mixed demographic even in modern times.  Manhattanville and Hamilton Heights had Irish immigrants arriving as early as the 1850s which means the community was around for over a good century.  Check out our past post on Irish Harlem for more details and some really amazing archival photos submitted by a Bespoke reader who grew up in the area in the 1950s: LINK

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