“Children on 162nd Street.” Gliclée print on archival fiber paper, 1901 (re-print 2021), Courtesy of the descendants of the Ettlinger Family.
One of New York City’s most historically significant neighborhoods is getting the attention it deserves in a new museum exhibition. The landmarked museum Morris-Jumel Mansion last month opened History Now, a collection of photographs by local artist Rose Deler that features large-format, black and white film portraits depicting the residents and architecture from the Jumel Terrace Historic District in Washington Heights. The exhibition will be open Friday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. through April 3.
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A hilly neighborhood with stunning public parks, incredible food, and community pride, Washington Heights is special. Not only is this area full of natural beauty (it has the highest natural point in Manhattan and boasts incredible Hudson River views) and historically important (it served as a strategic defense point during the Revolutionary War), Washington Heights has long been an immigrant enclave.
As development hit the largely rural neighborhood in the early 20th century, Irish, Jewish, African American, Cuban, Puerto Rican, and Dominican communities have all called Washington Heights home. Today, a strong Latin American and Caribbean presence remains, with Washington Heights and nearby Inwood considered the most populous Dominican neighborhoods in the U.S. With this month’s release of the movie adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway musical In The Heights, we’ve put together a guide of must-visit places in Washington Heights, from Manhattan’s oldest home to the city’s only underground street, with stops for roasted chicken and chicharrón along the way.
Start planning your visit
The quaint row houses of landmarked Sylvan Terrace are tucked away on one of the city’s “secret” streets in Washington Heights, which used to be the carriage drive to the Morris-Jumel Mansion, the oldest house in Manhattan where General George Washington held a temporary headquarters during the Revolutionary War. Residences on the charming street rarely become available, but the three-bedroom at 14 Sylvan Terrace just hit the market for $1,589,000. With plenty of original details, including two fireplaces, pocket doors, and period hardwood floors, here’s a chance to experience “romance from another era,” as the listing describes.
Take a look inside
In the heart of the Jumel Terrace Historic District in Washington Heights, already known for the Morris Jumel Mansion, the oldest house in Manhattan, the quaint row houses of Sylvan Terrace are tucked away on one of the city’s “secret” streets. The mansion is not only famous for being General George Washington’s temporary headquarters during the Revolutionary War but for hosting dignitaries from John Adams and Thomas Jefferson to Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton; in more modern times, “Hamilton” fans may know it as being the spot where the musical’s creator Lin-Manuel Miranda penned songs from the Broadway hit. The historic row of houses, built in the 1880s, was restored by the Landmarks Preservation Commission; 16 Sylvan Terrace was further renovated by its current owners and is now on the market for $1.625 million.
Take a peek inside this historic row house
In a city where hundreds of interesting happenings occur each week, it can be hard to pick and choose your way to a fulfilling life. Art Nerd‘s philosophy is a combination of observation, participation, education and of course a party to create the ultimate well-rounded week. Jump ahead for Art Nerd founder Lori Zimmer’s top picks for 6sqft readers!
The beautiful hills of Governors Island has a new sculpture by British artist Rachel Whiteread, and it is yours to discover through the entire season. Bring a tote or a T and get a custom screen print by Brian Leo, or head to GHOST art lounge to talk all things about artists JMR and CRASH. Head outdoors for a day time dance party at MoMA PS1, for a French film at Tompkins Square Park or to the gorgeous Morris-Jumel Mansion for live art and jazz. Celebrate sound at Pioneer Works, or if you’re feeling adventurous; hop a train to Asbury Park for sun, surf and the Art Star Craft Bazaar.
More on all the best events this way
- A round-up of nine river-based proposals for NYC. [Web Urbanist]
- When traveling, doesn’t it always seem like your belongings multiply on the way back? There’s a suitcase for that. [Dornob]
- Here’s what Christmas shopping in New York looked like 100 years ago. [Ephemeral NY]
- If you miss having an entire house to decorate for the holidays, you can help decorate the historic Morris-Jumel Mansion this Saturday. [Harlem Bespoke]
Images: +Pool (L); Fugu Luggage (R)
Acknowledged back in June as the most expensive townhouse in Washington Heights, this historic home at 431 West 162nd Street was met with skepticism from local bloggers. They cited its “colorful wall-to-wall carpeting” and the dearth of immediate amenities in the area. But according to city records, the townhouse has sold for $2.38 million, less than $200,000 under its $2.5 million asking price and still higher than any other townhouse in the area. Looks like Washington Heights gets the last laugh here.
Take a look inside the home that beat the odds