Midtown East

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Each part of town has several neighborhoods. Our residential-real-estate survey condenses its developmental highlights through Manhattan’s boom-and-bust economic cycles.

In no way is its intention a complete history: rather, the survey reflects the overriding characteristics that remain (through its rise, fall, and then {often} subsequent gentrification).

Furthermore, the seven additional elements–our highlights, photographs, maps, and suchlike–aim to create a mosaic of the lifestyle and housing types throughout Manhattan. 

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Time lines and Sidebars, Historic Maps, Neighborhoods, Upper East Side, Midtown East, Downtown East, Lower Manhattan, Downtown West, Midtown West, Upper West Side, Uptown, Upper Manhattan


Midtown East

Beginning at East 59th Street with the southernmost point as East 23rd Street, this mid-island part of town runs from Fifth Avenue to the East River throughout. The westernmost portion, specifically, Fifth to Third Avenues is Manhattan’s international retail-shopping and tourist magnet as well as its elite office skyscraper and premier commercial hub. The dwelling types range from apartment hotel co-operative to steel-and-glass condominium towers, which are peppered intermittently by an array of pre- and post-war (by comparison, low-rise) apartment houses nestled among the sky-high building corridors—Fifth, Madison, and Park Avenues.

As with the Upper East Side, the Fifth-to-Park-to-Third-Avenues development was dominated by the 1800s railroads, their right of ways, and these machinations percolated the monumental rise as a world-class urbane swath. Additionally, Fifth Avenue’s fate had been sealed as society’s domain, with a destiny to expand northward now incessant: among the well-connected, speculation on corner building lots and the adjacent streets to Fifth Avenue may have hit a previously unfrequented pitch.

Moreover, nowhere was more land owned by The Corporation of the City of New York than in mid-Manhattan. Beginning in the central Forties, continuing south with the Murray leased tract, the United States Magazine and Parade Grounds surrounding Madison Square, and to the far southeast, the tract encompassing East 30th to 20th Streets and from Fourth Avenue to the east river, once Rose Hill. (A confiscated de Lancey Farm and more on that is to come.) As an overview: the Corporation was set up at the British take over from the Dutch. Its charter empowered the bureaucratic oversight of the common lands and real estate transactions, taxes, and claims. In turn, the Corporation provided the funds for road building.

By 1775 Manhattan was flourishing, boasting 25,000 citizen’s and 4-5,000 buildings within the half-square-mile southern tip of the island. Twenty-thousand New Yorkers fled the 1775 patriot take over and the loyalists’ abandoned their property, leaving behind a deserted city. When British forces regained vacated Manhattan the following year, the loyalist returned; and the first major fire consumed a third or more of the buildings. Nevertheless, by 1781, the population was once again the pre-war level. In total, the city and environs regained as many as 40–50,000 people. A year later, in anticipation of the British withdrawal, the patriots returned, the second loyalist exodus began—some 40,000 citizen’s departed. Over eight years these repeated upheavals approached civil chaos: properties were abandoned, reclaimed, and then abandoned again. Furthermore, the occupiers took the Corporation records with them. Naturally doubts followed over claims and frequent rent and damage uncertainties were soon compounded by the loyalist forfeited properties’ status. Worse yet, ownership that could be verified, then, was difficult to know its boundaries: most informal markers were lost or reference points had been disturbed. As the largest landowner, the city (therefore the Corporation of the City of New York) was the most affected since property sales and rentals were among its principal sources of income. Worst of all, clarity how the city and its appointed Corporation was to unravel an unprecedented situation took time.

The property lines established along the old Middle Road, which was to be Fifth Avenue, beginning above 23rd Street, apparently, evolved extensive backroom wrangling involving prominent bankers, businessmen, lawyers, and then real-estate speculators. Because, an inordinate number of property lines—just so happened to fall exactingly—along the upcoming grid plan lines, and they wound up in the hands of the above-described personages. The considerable retained Corporation of the City of New York expanses were carved out and granted to charities such as asylum; for Vanderbilt’s Grand Central Station site; and prominent, Fifth and Park Avenue full block fronts were granted to St. Patrick’s and St. Thomas’ Cathedrals and the First Presbyterian and St. Bartholomew sanctuaries and all their manses. After several preliminary street design proposals, and with each the Corporation sold 50-6o lots, as the 19th century began the large Midtown East tract owners, from East 59th to 48th Streets and Fifth to Fourth Avenues were, as follows:

  • East 59th to 58th Streets, the Hugh Gaine heirs’ southernmost property line;
  • East 58th to 56th Streets, the heirs of John Kemp (later attached by its southern neighbor);
  • East 56th to 54th Streets, John Mason;
  • East 54th to 52nd Streets, Charles Mc Evers;
  • East 52nd to 48th Streets, owned by the Literary Institution, and with the juxtaposed Corporation of the City of New York’s tract, spread to Third Avenue.

The commercial sector’s easterly portion owners, between Fourth and Third Avenues, from north to south, were as follows:

    • East 59th to 58th Streets, Albert Anderson;
    • East 58th to 57th Streets, Samuel S. Thompson;
    • East 57th to 52nd Streets, the heirs of John Kemp;
    • And East 52nd to 48th Streets (Fourth to Second Avenues), Jacob Odell.

At the mid-century mark Fifth Avenue above 39th then to 48th Streets included the city limit at East 42nd Street, still a cattle trail connecting Hudson River ferries with East River slaughter houses, these parcel landholders, from north to south, were as follows:

  • East 48th to 41st Streets (sprawling to Third Avenue), Thomas Buchanan;
  • East 45th to 42nd (at Fifth Avenue), George Warner and Isaac Burr: the near easterly blocks were owned by Michael Evener and Mr. Kay (to Fourth Avenue);
  • East 42nd to 38th Streets (along Fifth Avenue), Joel & Jotham Post, James McBlair, Levinus Clarkson, and Nicholas Clarkson;
  • And East 41st to 38th Streets (west of Fourth to west of Third Avenues), James Quackinbush.

The Midtown East southwestern segment, comprising East 49th to 22nd Streets and spanning Fourth to Second Avenues, was tightly controlled by the large tract holders, who were:

  • East 49th to 39th Streets, inclusive of Fourth to Second Avenues, the heirs of Francis B. Winthrop;
  • East 38th Street (irregular), between Fifth Avenue’s east and to 32nd Street west of Third Avenue, the John Murray’s estate;
  • East 40th to 28th Streets, irregularly, from Third Avenue to the East River, various Kip heirs;
  • East 31st to 23rd Streets, United States Magazine Parade Grounds as Fifth to Fourth Avenues;
  • And East 30th to 20th Streets, from Fourth Avenue to the East River, Corporation of the City of New York controlled.

The East River Shoreline

Altered by landfills, nevertheless, the natural rugged riverbank terrain dictated development. For instance—once climbing the East 60th to 59th Streets slope, at East 53rd Street Avenue A ends abruptly at a schist bluff (on which perch the East 52nd Street cul-de-sac as well as Beekman Place) that drops precipitously to East 48th Street. Thereafter, Turtle Bay (from East 48th to 47th Streets), and then Kip’s Bay (along East 37th to 32nd Streets) eliminates Avenue A as well. (Manhattan bulges eastward within a widened Downtown East, so four avenues, letters A-D, do exist there.)

The north portion was the posh Colonial-era country retreat, where Manhattan’s powerhouses built their summer villa. The midsection, a one-half mile glacial outwash plain, was overdeveloped industrial blocks with slaughterhouses and cattle pens, breweries and taverns, gasworks and power plants, coal storage warehouses supplying the railroad yards, and the piers to transfer along produce and manufactured goods to other markets. The southern slice consisted of two Dutch-Colonial family farms.

East Fifties

By far, these streets and avenues are the largest, most established Midtown neighborhood. Sutton Place is a short boulevard following the East River shoreline plateau between East 59th and 53rd Streets, which is divided as Sutton Place from East 59th to 57th Streets, and then to East 53rd Street as Sutton Place South. Beekman Place, starts at East 51st Street and ends at East 49th Street, running along a ridge above the East River. It is a narrow, tree-lined, two-block long town house enclave with two adjacent streets to First Avenue. East Fifty-Second Street is a one-block long cul-de-sac (First Avenue to the East River bluff), and it dead ends at the pre-war apartment house standout (No. 435) the River House. Opposite, also at the riverfront (No. 450) is the Campanile, an apartment house, where: the Mayfair Yacht Club called home and where Rex Harrison, H. J. Heinz and the reclusive, Greta Garbo, once lived.

The 1800s estates extending to Second Avenue, from north to south, were owned, as follows:

  • East 60th to 57th Streets, Thomas C. Pearsall;
  • East 57th to 55th Streets, Buchanan Family;
  • East 55th to 52nd Streets, George Youle;
  • East 52nd to 51st Streets, Edmund Seaman;
  • East 51st to 50th Streets, James Beekman;
  • East 49th to 48th Streets, along with a 1650s farmhouse, was bought by Stephen N. Bayard.

Collectively, these six estates comprise what is referred to as the Sutton-Beekman Area. Though bustling, its core, Sutton Square as well as Beekman Place, are distinctly exclusive, understated town house enclaves—liberally infused with United Nations, industry, society, the arts’ luminaries. While many late 19th- through 20th-century mid-Avenue block row houses are intact, the era’s tenement apartment houses have been renovated—inside and out.

Since World War II, the corner lots were assembled as 21-story, post-war apartment houses—wherever a pre-war building did not exist; if still underutilized after 1980, indubitably, a condominium tower since was erected there. At East 50th Street and First Avenue is the one remaining French Flats building; one grand 1930 “studio” apartment house, at 322 East 57th Street, overshadows its neighbors still. No loft-to-residential-usage conversion, however, is to be found. (Incidentally, the zip code 10019 is cited as the nation’s wealthiest per household.)

East Forties

Turtle Bay comprises East 48th to 40th Streets and Third Avenue to the East River, and it incorporates two communities: United Nations Plaza which at ground level replaces a submerged First Avenue from East 49th through 41st Streets; and Tudor City, which sits atop the bluff running from East 43rd to 41st Streets. In addition, East 49th to 39th Streets—to Fourth Avenue—was controlled entirely by the heirs of Francis B. Winthrop. Save Turtle Bay Garden Historic District encompassing row houses and their communal garden between East 47th and 46th Streets, the Midtown East midsection has been redeveloped (usage-wise), since construction on the East River reach of East 48th to 42nd Streets, began for the United Nations Headquarter tower and surrounding gardens. Because the tunnel diverts almost all vehicular traffic, beginning in 1966, the open river-facing plaza north of Dag Hammarskjold Place evolved as a sleek high-end, glass-and-steel apartment tower neighborhood. The first suchlike tower, 860-70 United Nations Plaza, was an I.M. Pei groundbreaking complex, with walls of glass overlooking the United Nations gardens, the East River, and the Sutton-Beekman Area.

East Thirties and Twenties

The southern portion starts with Murray Hill, and it takes in East 40th to 33rd Streets, between Madison and Third Avenues. As is true with many mid-island neighborhoods, Murray Hill’s residential housing was decimated by commercialization by 1890. Notable exceptions are the East 39th to 35th Streets, in the Madison-to-Third-Avenue mid-blocks as well as along Park Avenue’s apartment house strip. On East 36th Street, between Third and Lexington Avenues, is Sniffen Court which was constructed between 1850 and 1860. It consists of ten red-brick carriage houses. While post-war apartment houses are everywhere along Third and Second Avenues, so are street-level commercial and retail strips. While the Murray Hill residential section does not continue to the East River. However, its southeast could be either east Murray Hill or south Turtle Bay; it is considered neither, but the swath does have two predominant features:

  • The Midtown Tunnel egress and ingress from Second Avenue, comprising the entire East 37th to 35th Street block fronts
  • A narrow East River-facing, residential tower corridor, which runs from East 38th to 34th Streets

Kips Bay, as a neighborhood, covers East 34th to 29th Streets, and continues to East 23rd Street, and likewise spans Second Avenue to the East River. East 40th to 28th Streets—spreading west from the East River to Third Avenue—was the Kip family homestead. East Twenty-Eighth Street at Fourth Avenue, extending to East 22nd Street on the East River, the confiscated Stuyvesant and de Lancey Farm’s northern mass, Rose Hill.

East Thirty-Third to 23rd Streets, between Third and First Avenues, has few tree-lined, row-house blocks. Moreover, the entire eastern portion, from East 33rd to 28th Streets, morphed into a medical and healthcare center, with: Bellevue Hospital (a city public institution, since 1736); NYU Medical Center; and the V.A. (Veterans’) Hospital of Manhattan—occupying every First Avenue block front and east to the (FDR) Drive. Sited alongside these hospital complexes between East 33rd and 31st Street, and enclosing the First-to-Second Avenue blocks are I.M. Pei’s 1960s Kips Bay Towers. The complex includes four apartment houses in two rows with gardens between, and low-rise buffer retail stores on the avenues, which finishes off an award-winning whole.
To the immediate south, between East 29th to 24th Streets and spanning Second to First Avenues are four clustered, city-sponsored, urban renewal complexes. Like Kips Bay Towers, they, too, are sited in “somewhat park-like settings” though hardly to an equal affect. Two southerly, block-long buildings are a middle-income housing development; however, on East 27th and 26th Streets in the Third-to-First-Avenue mid-blocks, the juxtaposed third and fourth (seemingly neglected), low-income, housing projects loom.

Neighborhood Development Highlights

Along Sutton Place

Within eight years after erecting his (long-gone), horseshoe-shaped row houses, Effingham B. Sutton’s name became associated with both the plateau district as well as Avenue A. His Sutton Square, formed by two cul-de-sacs when East 58th and 59th Streets dead end at the East River, is atop a one-third wide by one-block long bluff, built as horse-shoe-shape around a common riverfront garden. An added exclusivity is Sutton Square North (East 58th Street) alone provides access to Riverview Terrace, once the town house’s stables this is a one-half block bijou, comprising seven riverfront cottage-size houses.

In the early 1920s, the houses were demolished to be reconfigured as it is today. The ultra-affluent and high society, with their lofty Morgan and Vanderbilt names, wanted an opulent town house or mansion overlooking the East River. One mansion, built for Anne Harriman “Granny” Vanderbilt, is now the official United Nations Secretary-General residence. At a penultimate Manhattan corner of East 57th Street and Sutton Place, it comes with the distinctive One Sutton Place address. Two Sutton Square, the next door mansion, once owned by, Anne Morgan, daughter of J. P. Morgan, is indeed as imposing and currently occupied by a Heinz heiress.

The square’s unique, block-long expanse extends south to East 56th Street by an equal common garden. An 80 year byzantine, owners’ rights saga of suppressed blue-blood money compacts, creating a labyrinth of twists and turns that are far too involved to encapsulate here, except: the privacy was enjoyed only by the collective One Sutton Place South co-owners—a venerable Manhattan co-operative apartment house, that is, until the “lease” of public property dispute was resolved. With that entire goings on, real-estate developers engaged the services of Rosario Candela to design co-operatively co-owned apartment houses on Sutton Place, Sutton Place South, and one immediately to the west with an East 57th Street address. In short order, East 57th Street, beyond even the Sutton-Place-to-First-Avenue block, was apartment-house lined.

In Beekman Place

Practically speaking, in fact, this is Sutton Place’s sister because their place in 1920s fashion evolved together—equally. Additionally, both benefitted as Manhattan’s post-Second World War luxury-housing boom resumed. Within a few years, six unassembled Sutton Place South building sites, between East 56th and 53rd Streets, and three sites, at East Fifty-Ninth and 58th Streets on Sutton Place, and two in the Beekman Place enclave stood as a stark contrast to the gracious apartment houses. Moreover, as the United Nation headquarters move was announced—a colossal Robert Moses’ coup, abetted by a timely John D. Rockefeller Jr. 18-acre donation—the area already renowned for its celebrity residents was the neighborhood of choice for newly-arrived ambassadors, whose countries gobbled up and refurbished every nearby available brownstone. The pr ime early example: Irving Berlin’s riverfront Beekman Place mansion was acquired by The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

Although Sutton Place might have limited prior history, on the other hand, Beekman Place does have a past, beginning with an influential Dutch Colonial family patriarch, Willem Beeckman, a major player in 1630-64 New Amsterdam and Harlem lot transfers. His transactions included a picturesque bluff at East 50th Street, overlooking the East River. The family mansion was replaced, in 1765, by Mount Pleasant, built by a descendant, James Beekman. The estate was British headquarters during the Revolutionary War. Actually, Nathan Hale, tried and convicted a patriot spy in the greenhouse, was executed the next morning in the apple orchard at East 51st Street and First Avenue—with his body left dangling as a warning to the patriot community. On a brighter note, throughout his presidency George Washington often slept here. As the 1854 cholera epidemic enveloped Manhattan, the family vacated to vacation in Duchess County; 20 years later, Mount Pleasant was torn down.

For Turtle Bay

A 1639 40-acre, land-grant surrounding a bent-blade-shaped cove (in Dutch a deutal: Anglicized as Turtle) was awarded to two (unknown) Englishmen by Peter Stuyvesant, the New Amsterdam Colonial governor. The East River shoreline irregularity created a natural seafarer’s shelter, approximating East 48th to 47th Streets, attributed to the wind and river currents. Redubbed Turtle Bay Farm, the riverbank became an immensely important Colonial sailboat repair center: the inevitable growth to commercial port hub soon followed. On the commanding East 49th Street bluff the initial homesteaders built a farmhouse, which was purchased in the early 1700s as a Bayard family summer villa. (It remained their country retreat for 150 years: until after the Civil War, when Turtle Bay beyond was filled in.)

What the Industrial Revolution Wrought

A Winthrop family acquired the entire plain encompassing East 49th to 40th Streets and sprawling west to Third Avenue. The wharf district’s industries, such as timber mills carpentry shops, and breweries, continually expanded nicely, then, with the grid plan implementation nearing, the still pastoral central hunk at East 46th Street and Third Avenue was urbanized and building lots for brownstone row houses were prepared. Throughout the ensuing years commerce grew at a phantasmagorical pace, with the advent of Fulton’s Claremont (folly that he partnered with Robert Livingston), churning away and then De Witt Clinton’s 1825 Erie Canal complete for its entire length, each brought an additional onslaught of produce pouring in from the hinterland, beyond the great physical barrier of the Appalachian Mountains; Turtle Bay port activity was burgeoning (perhaps, with hind-sight, out of control). Events took another turn toward overwhelming, however, paddle-boats propelled by steam engines required industrialized metal and chemical workshops and, seemingly overnight, the valley between two bluffs needed working-class housing to accommodate the dock workers: and so, tenements were put up and occupied by Lower East Side slum-dwellers ready to vacate (for a better opportunity and to make way for the Irish famine waves). Not surprisingly, at Second Avenue progress on the middle-class brownstones stalled.

The immigrant infusions, coupled with late 1860s domestic migrant flows from rural to urban areas, was then redoubled by the 1878 Elevated Railroads opening, the middle-class enclave entered a nosedive. The longtime residents migrated north northwest, leaving behind encroaching slip-shod tenement-apartment-house blocks. What’s more, Turtle Bay was a prominent site for the prolonged Civil War conscription riots. With the 40 year, recurring immigration waves, and with mass transportation arriving, the Lower East Side’s slums were pushed farther and farther north. Midtown East, Turtle Bay in particular, quickly caved to impoverished workers employed by the commerce and industrial activity despoiling the East River’s shores, and this labor force occupied the nearby single-family-homes converted to boarding houses as well. Further continuous industrialization throughout the late 19th century the water’s edge slaughterhouses and power plants became punctuated by ramshackle slum blocks.

(All the While)
Although the central neighborhood knolls had been razed in strict accordance to the New York City commissioners’ 1811 Grid Plan, the soaring bluff at the bay’s southern portion had not. Populated by goats it was truly a Goat Hill. As squatters displaced goats, the hilltop turned into an infamous, shanty Irish community known as, Prospect Hill—nothing less than a thieves’ waterfront haven, with an ominous violent crime rate. The greater Turtle Bay area, encouraged by the cliff-top dwellers sustained the downward spiral: the waterfront (once-crammed piers and warehouses), deteriorated throughout the early 20th century, experiencing industries moving out (very often off Manhattan).

On the plateau overlooking the slaughterhouses and waterfront, (a self-proclaimed visionary real-estate developer) Fred F. French, beginning in the early 192os, bought and cleared the slum-ridden rows to erect a planned, self-contained, urban community. When completed, his Tudor City comprised East 43rd to 40th Street, and Second to First Avenue—with vehicular access from Second Avenue only. The dozen apartment houses, four brownstones, and one 600-room hotel may be described best as: thematic-influenced neo-Tudor structures complete with brick-and-stone archway entrances, dark ceramic-tile lobby floors, with insinuated appliques (on brick) façades. One spire-like cornice (with a crest, no less) tops off the central building. Intending to attract suburban-minded (middle-class) tenants for its 3,000 apartment units, the enclave includes two private gardens and a children’s playground—a Manhattan first. The depression-era and post-World War Two were not kind, throughout the former apartments were reconfigured as one-room efficiencies: throughout the later, therefore, a rejuvenation of its ideals was stifled. Additionally, dubious early 1970s ownership transfers undermined the entire community.

Twenty-eight years later, the last slaughterhouse was shuttered to make way for the United Nations headquarters. The broad adjoining railroad yards were covered to accommodate the north-to-south First Avenue tunnel: thereby creating the broad plaza. Moreover, the south-side buildings on Dag Hammarskjold Place, along East 47th Street from Second to First Avenues, were razed to be the east-to-west (tourist) gateway emphasizing the United Nations main entrance. This promenade was graced by the Katherine Hepburn Garden—a longtime Turtle Bay Garden row house owner, who donated the funds for the half-block wide plantings and benches.

On Murray Hill

The surrounding neighborhood adopted its name from the surname of an 18th-century, Quaker family with a fortune amassed via overseas merchant-marine trade. Robert Murray, the patriarch, was born in 1721. He left Pennsylvania as a young man and moved east. Once in Manhattan, Murray established himself rapidly and eventually controlled the largest shipping tonnage in and out of New York Harbor. He leased—not owned—a 29-acre Corporation of the City of New York tract, spreading south from East 38th Street to 34th Streets, with its farthest western protrusion near to Fifth Avenue, and the estate’s bulk straddling present-day Lexington Avenue.

The Murray property was approached at its easternmost point on East 34th Street, off the Boston Post Road (Third Avenue), by a private tree-lined lane along a natural rise to the great hilltop house. Although the property name, in fact, was Belmont, throughout the colony it was called Murray’s hill. The steep-sided, glacial terminal moraine mound—a gravel-and-boulder mixture, cemented over time into an impenetrable density—overlay the underlying schist entirely. Throughout the early 19th century Murray Hill was uptown Manhattan because, at that time, the city limits (socially speaking) ended at Fifth Avenue and East 42nd Street—a distribution reservoir of the Old Croton Aqueduct system dismantled in 1890. With the final cut through the cement and schist allowing the New York and Harlem Railroad cars through Murray Hill (only after the Act of 1850 provided funds for the underground tracks to be covered, though) did Mrs. Astor’s society move east to Park Avenue.

In no time whatsoever, upper-middle-class sycophants filed into the row houses lining Murray Hill’s streets. Twenty-odd years later, the Murray Hill southwestern boundary, Madison Avenue and East 34th Street, was hardly a fashionable address. The peaceful surrounding streets had changed as the ladies’ emporiums on Madison Square moved uptown, nearer East 34th Street, the city’s last-word in shopping districts. One Astor Fifth Avenue mansion, at East 33rd Street, had been razed for the Waldorf Hotel; a second, Caroline Astor’s next door mansion, followed shortly to make way for the Astoria Hotel. So, as J. P. Morgan completed his brownstone-façade mansion, his peers were occupying their new Fifth Avenue palaces alongside Central Park.

As to Kips Bay

As a current neighborhood the area encompasses East 33rd to 23rd Streets, and from the East River extending west to Third Avenue—the Rose Hill farm is thought to have extended (in portions), as far west as Fourth Avenue. The bay, which no longer exists, was named after a Dutch settler, Jacobus Hendrickson Kip whose remarkably wide homestead commencing at East 42nd Street (and east of Third Avenue) south southeast to East 28th Street (at the East River). Throughout, Kip’s farmlands followed the bay’s rim and he built a large, brick-and-stone house at East 35th Street and Second Avenue, then Eliza Street (after Eliza Kip). By the time the grid was to be applied, the Samuel Kip heirs had divided up the tract into a dozen—owned by various Campbell, Vail, Van Tuyl, Storm, Jones, Coster, Duffie, Henderson and Corni Kip Roosevelt who, in the interim, had all intermarried well-known Manhattan names. The house Kip built stood from 1655 to 1851 (an astounding spans and, fittingly, on land still owned by Eliza Kip’s heirs). Although the cove was reclaimed, the name Kip(s) Bay stuck because the clan hunkered in the area, even though their Cornelia, Louisa, Elbert, Maria, Eliza, and, Kip Bay Streets had disappeared.

The Kip southern riverside neighbor, James Delancey, sold his Rose Hill Farm to John Watts, who had married a niece, Anne (nee De Lancey). In November 1747, their lands reaching to Fourth Avenue and East 22nd Street, totaling more than 130 acres. While in England, however, these British-loyalist-in-exiles’ manor house burned down. Quickly, in the Revolutionary War aftermath, this gargantuan landholding was confiscated—in its entirety. (This de Lancey Farm land was among the first suchlike Commissioners of Forfeiture loyalist war-reparation seizures, which were given over to Corporation of the City of New York. What would soon be East 28th through 25th Streets, at First Avenue’s east, was set aside as a public Bellevue Hospital. With dispatch, their property was surveyed, graded, subdivided as building lots according to the New York City commissioner’s 1811 Grid Plan, and then sold off. But much more about that, and other “grid plan” implementation tribulations all over town, are detailed as they affect a neighborhood’s development.)


The Kips and Rose Bay area

The Kips and Rose Bay park

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