Where was the Rose Hill area of Manhattan?

There’s a long-established Rose Hill neighborhood in the Bronx; it’s the name of Fordham University’s campus.

But there was once a Rose Hill neighborhood in Manhattan too. The name came from Rose Hill, country estate purchased in 1747 by loyalist John Watts. It ran roughly from Park Avenue South to the East River between 23rd to 32nd Street.

[Railroad depot at 27th Street and Fourth Avenue, placing it squarely in Rose Hill in the 19th century]

Rose Hill lasted well into the 19th century: The New York Times archive contains articles referencing the Rose Hill Ladies Relief Union as well as the Rose Hill Methodist Episcopal Church on Third Avenue and 27th Street.

By the 20th century, the name seems to have been forgotten, the neighborhood absorbed by the Murray Hill-Gramercy-Flatiron region.

I couldn’t find a single drawing or painting depicting it, but there’s a building on 14th Street near Third Avenue that’s adopted the name.

Rose Hill might just be embarking on its second act. In the past decade, a crop of residents—and real estate agents—have begun reviving the name. There’s even a Rose Hill Neighborhood Association.

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12 Responses to “Where was the Rose Hill area of Manhattan?”

  1. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    Have no fear 14th Street is destined for the wrecker’s ball, Rose Hill is as gone.

  2. JP Says:

    Taxicab maps marked it as a grey, nameless area. Native to it, an old friend suggested “Grey Splotch”.

    The other one put forth by neighborhood associations and realtors is “turtle bay” though mighty wikipedia says this is further north. Kips Bay is probably the widest accepted name. When people asked me what neighborhood I was from I said “near Stuy town” or “You’ve never heard of it, but we’re surrounded by hospitals”. It used to be the gashouse district!


  3. wildnewyork Says:

    I wish they would go back to calling it the Gashouse District. Very atmospheric!

  4. petey Says:

    great find on that 14th street bldg.

  5. Bill Fischer Says:

    The Roman Catholic Church of the Epiphany, on East 22nd & 2nd Avenue, has a plaque outside announcing that it was built on the site of General Horatio Gates’ [Winner of Revolutionary War Battle of Saratoga] home called “Rose Hill.”

  6. What’s a farmhouse doing on East 29th Street? « Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] Historians can’t seem to agree on when the house, at 203 East 29th Street, was built, but it may have been as early as 1790, when the neighborhood was known as Rose Hill. […]

  7. Dori Says:

    I have a piece of property (well, my ancestor had it) that was described as “bounded …. in the rear by Rosehill-street”. Other bounds were Bowery lane and “the highway leading to Kingsbridge”. This was described as lot #1 in a map made by “Evert Bancker, city surveyor”.

    Would be grateful for more information so that I could identify this location.

    (it wa sold in a Sheriff’s sale 😦

  8. Robert Dress Says:

    My neighbor lives in a prewar colonial row house on 31st. btwn 2nd & 3rd ave. (the one with the gas powered lanterns) Take a look at the iron gate doors. It reads, ROSE HILL.

  9. Christopher Kay Says:

    The 1912, 1934 and 1955 City Planning Maps all annotate the area as “Rose Hill Farm”.
    Rose Hill is included in the list of areas served on the windows at the entrance to the NYPD 13th Precinct Station House.

  10. Irene Says:

    There is (or was when I lived in the area 5 years ago) a plaque on the wall in front of the Church of the Epiphany (22nd and 2nd) that describes the Battle of Rose Hill from the Revolutionary War.

  11. Irene Says:

    Apologies. I see that someone posted this ahead of me. But I also noticed that the link to my name is not to my own wordpress blog, it’s to something else altogether. Not sure what’s going on there, and very sorry to interrupt this thread.

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