The area in the 1840s, via Wiki Commons
One of New York City’s most charming and distinctive corners celebrates its 50th anniversary as a landmark district this coming week. The St. Mark’s Historic District, designated January 14, 1969, contains fewer than 40 buildings on parts of just three blocks. But this extraordinary East Village enclave contains several notable superlatives, including Manhattan’s oldest house still in use as a residence, New York’s oldest site of continuous religious worship, Manhattan’s only true east-west street, the remains of the last Dutch Governor of New Netherland, and the only “triangle” of houses attributed to celebrated 19th century architect James Renwick.
More secrets of the neighborhood
St. Paul’s Chapel via Flickr cc
Tis the season to voluntarily spook oneself out, but if haunted houses and tourist-friendly ghost tours aren’t your thing, New York’s bustling burrows are home to a slew of the more naturally born spirits. You’ll find Dracula’s extended family on 23rd Street, a host of oracles on Orchard Street, and the site of the cruel crime that led to the nation’s first recorded murder trial on Spring Street. If you’re searching for a necropolis in the metropolis, here are ten of the best sites in New York to spot specters.
See all the haunted haunts here!
Monument to Peter Stuyvesant in Stuyvesant Square via edenpictures via photopin
A few quick facts from New York City history 101: The island of Manhattan was originally settled by the Dutch, and therefore officially named New Amsterdam in 1625. It was part of the larger settlement of New Netherland. Pieter, or Petrus, Stuyvesant (we know him today as Peter) was the last Dutch Director-General of the colony of New Netherland from 1647 until it was ceded to the English in 1664. His work greatly influenced the city’s expansion northward from the southern tip, and he was responsible for many major historic events, such as the erection of a protective wall on what is today Wall Street and the creation of a canal on today’s Broad Street and Broadway.
Now that it’s November–the month when the city celebrates its Dutch heritage through 5 Dutch Days–we decided to take a look at the old stomping ground of General Stuyvesant, as well as his lasting legacy in the city today.
Read about Peter Stuyvesant’s NYC
Photo via Plowboylifestyle/CC
Not so surprisingly, Manhattan has a slew of cemeteries, graveyards and built-over potter’s fields (for unclaimed bodies). Madison Square Park was originally used as a potter’s field, as was Bryant Park. And though these swaths of land served many purposes over the years, it took an eternity before they were lovely public parks. From the late 1600s, burial grounds were generally confined to what would now be just south of City Hall, but more began popping up further uptown during the 1800s as the city’s population grew in leaps and bounds.
With Halloween upon us, tis’ the season for checking out if living near one might give a buyer a bit of a ghostly scare or whether it takes an eternity to sell when the living room window overlooks tombstones marking coffins buried six feet under.
Hear what experts say, and then learn about the city’s most notable graveyards.
Do homes near cemeteries sell at a discount in NYC?