“Walk Your Horses” say the inscriptions on the entry gates that lead to the alleys of Strivers’ Row, a two-block time capsule back into Harlem history.
Like a lot of the neighborhood, these aristocratic townhouses, spanning 138th and 139th Streets between Frederick Douglass Boulevard and Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard, were built in the 1890s for wealthy whites.
But when white New Yorkers deserted Harlem just a decade later, middle- and upper-class black families moved in—hence the striver reference. Each house had modern plumbing, detailed woodwork, and shared back courtyards. Plus stables for horses, of course.
Strivers’ Row mixes a couple of different architectural styles. (Stanford White had his hand in designing some). The result is a harmonious couple of blocks as lovely as any in the Village or brownstone Brooklyn—but lesser-known, practically a neighborhood secret.
Tags: Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard, and White, development of Harlem, Frederick Douglass Boulevard, Harlem alleys, McKim, Mead, old Harlem streets, Stanford White, Strivers' Row, wealthy Harlem neighborhoods, Whites in Harlem