They aren’t the most opulent residences in the neighborhood; Harlem has brownstones and townhouses much more ornate and in better condition. But the 28 homes stretching from 130th Street between Fifth Avenue and Lenox Avenue—otherwise known as Astor Row, after the Astor estate, which developed them—have a unique rustic, rural charm.
These semi-attached brick row houses look more Charleston than they do New York—set back from the street with lush front yards, shady trees, and wooden porches.
Built between 1880 and 1883, Astor Row was occupied entirely by whites until 1920, when black families began moving in. As Harlem decayed, so did the block. They were landmarked in 1981, and today, the houses are in mixed shape: Some appear to be restored and occupied, while others have fallen into neglect.