Wednesday, November 29

The glorious mansions on a lovely Harlem block


"Nineteenth century New York had lots of freestanding, single-family mansions. Few survive today, but one Harlem block is host to four. These bells-and-whistles monuments to wealth and status do a pretty good job blending in with the walkups that surround them. You’ll find these mansions at St. Nicholas Place and 150th Street, in the middle of Harlem’s Sugar Hill neighborhood. Sugar Hill is roomy and lovely, but I don’t think the name was in use when James Bailey (of Barnum and Bailey Circus fame) decided to build this magnificent castle of a home in 1888 (below, in 1895). It’s a Medieval limestone mansion with 64 windows of mosaic glass and 30 rooms at 10 St. Nicholas Place—an offshoot of St. Nicholas Avenue, a high and wide road popular among the Gilded Age rich who went coaching there. ..."
Ephemeral New York

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