Rhinelander Gardens: then and now

Designed by James Renwick—architect of Grace Church on Tenth Street and Broadway and St. Patrick’s Cathedral—these “three-decker” row houses stood at the corner of Sixth Avenue and 11th Street since 1855.

I’m not sure what connection they have to the Rhinelanders—an old New York family—but the family probably owned the land they were built on, hence the name.

Another Rhinelander real estate site is just around the corner on Seventh Avenue.

Berenice Abbott took the photo in 1937. Rhinelander Gardens only lasted another 20 years. Amazingly, the city tore them down (and their lovely front lawns and cast-iron balconies!) to build P.S. 41.

The school is very 1950s. The tenement apartment building on the far right, the Unadilla, still exists.

Lost New York, by  Nathan Silver, published in 1967, has this to say:

“The setback fronts of the houses were the result of the imperfect match of the old Greenwich Village street pattern with the upper Manhattan grid. Some deep fronts can still be seen on 11th Street, but the Rhinelander row was demolished in the late 1950s.”

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8 Responses to “Rhinelander Gardens: then and now”

  1. petey Says:

    “and their lovely front lawns”
    yes this is something some streets in manhattan have, deep fronts (not lawns anymore afaik) to the buildings (walk-ups usually). it gives a comfortable feel, unlike the narrow sidewalks on most streets.

  2. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    I think it’s on 18th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues that deep fronts appear on about 3 or 4 buildings. They’re on mid-block and are reminiscent of the ones you see in the Gramercy Park, 20th and Irving Place. You actually are struck by their oldness. I wonder if they’re still standing…

  3. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    Here it is, found a picture

    http://www.panoramio.com/photo/9722248

  4. petey Says:

    yeah, great find. there are also some in the west 20s. i agree about their old look.

  5. wildnewyork Says:

    Great photo, indeed. I’ve been meaning to do something on the front lawns of Manhattan homes; I’ll add it to the list.

  6. former PS41 parent Says:

    The windows of the cafeteria overlooking the playground (on Greenwich Ave.) have a detail from Rhinelander Gardens–the remains of the lacy wrought iron facade discretely hidden under an overhang. A nice nod to the past!

  7. Manhattan’s tiniest enchanting historic district | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] Two other Rhinelander-named enclaves in Greenwich Village, bulldozed decades ago, can be found here. […]

  8. The tenement and alley cats of old New York | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] cow-spotted furball is lounging on a fence post in 1937 at Rhinelander Gardens, a beautiful stretch of circa-1850s homes with decorative cast-iron torn down in 1957 to make room for P.S. […]

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