Posts Tagged ‘Clement Clark Moore Chelsea’

The loveliest stretch of houses in old Chelsea

January 21, 2013

Chelsea has more than its share of gorgeous homes. But a row of townhouses stretching along the south side of West 20th Street between Ninth and Tenth Avenues just may be the sweetest and have the most historical cred.

Cushmanrowchelsea

This is Cushman Row, seven red-brick beauties at numbers 406 to 418 completed in 1840. They’re among the oldest homes in Chelsea, considered to be the best examples of Greek Revival architecture in the city.

CushmanrowrailingsThe row was developed by Don Alonzo Cushman, a wealthy friend of Clement Clark Moore.

That’s the same Moore who wrote “A Visit From St. Nicholas” and was the grandson of the 18th century British army captain who built his country estate here and named it after Chelsea Royal Hospital in London.

Cushman lived in Greenwich Village. But as the Village filled up and the city moved northward, he bought property from Moore in Chelsea, which Moore hoped to develop into a graceful new residential neighborhood.

CushmanrowpineappleOn blocks like West 20th Street, with the neo-Gothic General Theological Seminary across the street, he succeeded.

Some of the features that make Cushman row so impressive are the uniform 10-foot deep front yards, recessed doorways, attic windows encircled with decorative wreaths, and the wrought-iron handrails and yard railings.

Check out the pineapple, a traditional symbol of hospitality, on the black iron newel at number 416.

Stribling has a recent listing for this house, with photos of the interior and backyard. No price is given, but with real-estate taxes running around 30,000 a year, it’s going to cost a lot.

The mystery of Chelsea’s Van Dolsom Row

August 18, 2011

The Clement Clark Moore house, an Underground Railroad stop . . . Chelsea’s leafy streets are packed with New York history.

Another example: the three handsome brownstones with lovely wide windows at numbers 322, 324, and 326 West 20th Street, about halfway between Eighth and Ninth Avenues.

A plaque affixed to one notes that they make up Van Dolsom Row and date to 1858.

Very cool . . . but who was Van Dolsom?

There’s no mention of anyone with this name in several different archives. Yet someone prominent enough to warrant a plaque or his descendants ought to be noted somewhere.

Perhaps Van Dolsom is simply a misspelling of Van Dolson—the surname of a Dutch settler who came to New York before 1648.

Forgotten New York also turns up the possibility of a spelling error.


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