Calvert Vaux

Brooklyn, History

ocean parkway, bicycling riding club, bike lanes

Ocean Parkway circa 1894, via NYC Parks

While many hipsters can be seen trekking through Brooklyn on their bikes today, the borough’s infatuation with cycling actually dates back to the nineteenth century. On June 15, 1894, Ocean Parkway became the first street in the U.S. to have a designated bike lane. The nearly five-mile stretch of road was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, the urban planning masterminds behind Central Park and Prospect Park. Originally, their design for Ocean Parkway was to be one of four spokes originating at Prospect Park and spanning across the borough. Today, the road doesn’t actually start at the park but runs parallel to Coney Island Avenue to reach the beach.

The full history this way

Cool Listings, East Village, Historic Homes, History

307 East 12th Street, historic homes, cool listings, co-ops, Children's Aid Society, Elizabeth Home for Girls, Calvert Vaux, East Village

Time hasn’t erased the historic feel of this unusual one-bedroom-plus-sleeping loft co-op, diminutive as it is elegant. It has the look of a renovated townhouse in one of the city’s most creative neighborhoods. At $1.35 million this petite pad may be an expensive refuge, but in its earliest days it was a refuge of a different sort with a history as interesting as its architecture–especially at a time when the ability to offer shelter to those in need is firmly in the spotlight. Landmarked in 2008, the subtly ornate red-brick facade of 307 East 12th Street was designed in 1892 by the firm of Calvert Vaux, who co-designed Central and Prospect Park among other enduring landmarks. Built for the Children’s Aid Society, the building was known as the Elizabeth Home for Girls; the New York Times tells us that it housed “several dozen young women rescued from abusive homes, offering them safe lodging, job training and healthy communal activities.”

Find out more about the building’s early residents

Featured Story

Features, Interviews, New Yorker Spotlight, People

Sara Cedar Miller, Larry Boes, Central Park

Sara Cedar Miller and Larry Boes

Central Park’s 843 acres serve as New York City’s backyard, playground, picnic spot, gym, and the list goes on. Taking care of the urban oasis is no small task; it requires gardeners, arborists, horticulturists, landscape architects, designers, tour guides, archeologists, a communications team, and even a historian. The organization in charge of this tremendous undertaking is the Central Park Conservancy. Since its founding in 1980, the Conservancy has worked to keep the park in pristine condition, making sure it continues to be New York’s ultimate escape.

Eager to learn more about Central Park and the Conservancy’s work, we recently spoke with two of its dedicated employees: Sara Cedar Miller, Associate Vice President for Park Information/Historian and Photographer, and Larry Boes, Senior Zone Gardener in charge of the Shakespeare Garden.

Read the interview here

Cool Listings, Greenwich Village, Interiors

215 Sullivan Street Townhouse

With its conversion completed only a few months ago, and dubbed “Vaux Mansion”, a nod to Calvert Vaux who designed the russet neo-Gothic structure that is part of the property, the eclectic mix of exteriors at 215 Sullivan Street make a stately presence in its Greenwich Village neighborhood.

And in a city filled with multimillion dollars homes, this 39’ wide townhouse sits at the head of the class. We’ve taken a peek inside many a gorgeous residence, but this one is truly lovely. The interior of this six-bedroom, seven-bath home is everything you would expect – 6,861 square feet of soaring vaulted ceilings, rift-sawn wide plank white oak flooring, and exquisite finishes.

See why this home is not just another multimillion dollar listing