Advocacy Archive

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. - George Santayana


Click on the links below to learn more about past advocacy campaigns:

Manhattan Avenue Study Area, West 104th Street to 106th Street

Victory! The Landmarks Preservation Commission designated Manhattan Avenue from 104th through 106th Streets as a historic district on May 15, 2007. Thanks so much to all of you who wrote letters, sent emails, signed the online petition, and attended the Landmarks Preservation Commission public hearing to support the proposed district. Clickhere for LPC’s Manhattan Avenue Historic District presentation and here for their press release.

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“The picturesque pocket of Victorian row houses on Manhattan Avenue from 104th to 106th Streets… has a calm Bostonian air that makes it seem a bit removed from city life.”Christopher Gray, The New York Times (November 28, 1999)

This picturesque pocket of Victorian rowhouses on Manhattan Avenue between 104th and 106th Streets has a calm air that seems to remove it from normal city life. Manhattan Avenue was not on the original city street plan, but by 1868 it was mapped as “New Avenue.” The earliest building activity on the Avenue occured in 1885, when Frederick Seitz put up row houses, on the west side of the street from 105th to 106th, designed by Joseph M. Dunn. The next year John Brown built up the east side of the same block with houses designed by C.P.H. Gilbert, and in 1889 Joseph Turner had the architect Edward Angell design the houses on the west side of the Avenue from 104th to 105th. Although other developers were putting up traditional high-stoop brownstones, all of these buildings were three-story brick structures with stone and terra cotta trim and lower stoops. The Gilbert-designed houses have elements of the Queen Anne style, with sunburst motifs, wavy linear ornament, and multi-light stained glass windows. Those by Dunn are a little wilder, with a wide variety of arches and gables. The Angell houses are Romanesque Revival and more sophisticated. All have unusual ornament – terra-cotta panels with rivet-head figuring, sunburst ironwork and highly detailed brickwork.

These blocks sit in the shadow of the New York Cancer Hospital, later the Towers Nursing Home, an Individual Landmark that was recently restored as luxury condominiums. In May 2007, the LPC voted to designated this area, on LW’s Wish List since 1985, as a historic district.

Click below to read testimony letters of support from:
NYS Assemblymember Daniel O’Donnell’s Testimony
US Congressman Charles B. Rangel
Manhattan Community Board 7 Resolution
Duke Ellington Boulevard Neighborhood Association

Victorian Society in America


Manhattan Avenue in the Press:
“An Area of Manhattan Takes a Step Toward History” by Gary Shapiro. The New York Sun 25 Jan 07
“Streetscapes-Central Park West Between 105th and 106th Streets; In the 1880’s, the Nation’s First Cancer Hospital” by Christopher Gray. The New York Times 28 December 03.
“Streetscapes/Manhattan Avenue Between 104th and 106th Streets; 1880’s Brick Row Houses With a Bostonian Air” by Christopher Gray. The New York Times 28 November 99.
“NEIGHBORHOOD REPORT: MANHATTAN VALLEY: A West Side Stepchild Seeks Respect for Its Roots” by Kelly Crow. The New York Times 25 February 01

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