The name comes from the circa-1760 colonial mansion and bucolic estate that once stood nearby.
The Richmond Hill mansion (below right) was really something. “The big house, a massive wooden structure of colonial design, had a lofty portico supported by Ionic columns,” reports a Villager article from 1945.
It hosted a succession of famous names: George Washington, John Adams, and Aaron Burr.
Abigail Adams described the estate’s beauty: “On one side we see a view of the city and of Long Island. The river [is] in front, [New] Jersey and the adjacent country on the other side. You turn a little from the road and enter a gate. A winding road with trees in clumps leads to the house, and all around the house it looks wild and rural as uncultivated nature. . . .”
Burr sold it to John Astor around 1807. He subdivided lots for development, and the Richmond Hill neighborhood sprang up in early 19th century—small Federal-style homes, many of which are still on Charlton, King (above), and other blocks off lower Sixth Avenue.
The old mansion operated as a resort, roadhouse, and theater until it was razed in 1849. With the house gone, the neighborhood name died too.
Tags: Colonial New York City, Greenwich Village history, Richmond Hill Manhattan, Richmond Hill New York, Richmond Hill Aaron Burr, Richmond Hill mansion, Federal style houses New York City, New York in 1760, Aaron Burr duel, Abigail Adams, John Astor real estate