But the area began attracting big money makers decades earlier, in the 1880s. All that’s left of these Gilded Age pioneers are a handful of gorgeous, free-standing mansions.
Like the James Bailey House on St. Nicholas Place at 150th Street (at right). Call it the house the circus built: it’s the castle-like residence of James Bailey, of Barnum & Bailey Circus fame.
Harlem Hybrid has amazing photos of the interior here.
Recently sold (since 1951, it had been a funeral home, fittingly) and currently hidden by scaffolding, the granite house changed hands for a mere $1.4 million.
More obscure is the Nicholas and Agnes Benziger House around the corner on Edgecomb Avenue.
Who lives there now? According to this site, it serves as housing for homeless adults. But on a recent visit, no signs of life could be detected.
Both homes are landmarked, reminders of uptown Manhattan’s rich, elite past.
Tags: Gilded Age New York, Harlem history, Harlem mansions, Harlem Street, James Bailey House, mansions in New York City, New York street, Nicholas and Agnes Benziger House, Romanesque Revival NYC, Sugar Hill Harlem