The “horse walks” hiding in Greenwich Village

Anyone who has strolled down a Greenwich Village side street has probably seen a horse walk door—an unadorned, mysterious entrance without a stoop that opens to the sidewalk.

The horse walk door is the brown one to the left at this house at 7 Leroy Street, a Federal-style beauty built in 1831.

Behind this door is the horse walk, a narrow passageway through which a homeowner’s horse was led from the street to a separate carriage house or stable behind the main house.

Of course, it’s been a good century or so since anyone has used a horse walk for their own equine. Those back carriage houses are now sought-after private residences.

Here’s a listing for the carriage house behind 7 Leroy Street—yours for $16,000 a month.

This horse walk door to the right of the main entrance is part of another lovely Federal-style house built in 1819 at 83 Sullivan Street near Spring Street.

You can just imagine a horse being led to and from the door every day to what was probably a very muddy street, so his owner can use him as transportation to get around the growing city.

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10 Responses to “The “horse walks” hiding in Greenwich Village”

  1. The Edmonton Tourist Says:

    Fascinating! Is the horse walk door still used to access the homes in the back? I want one! But I can only afford to live there for 2 days:)

  2. wildnewyork Says:

    Yes, in fact the doors have their own separate house numbers now. They are prime real estate and super expensive because of their charm and privacy.

  3. petey Says:

    i had no idea.

  4. Marco Says:

    I can maybe manage a 24 hour stay @ 16k/mo. At least I can get a decent meal in that part of town.

  5. Out Walking the Dog Says:

    I had no idea. In years past, I have visited at one of the charming Carmine Street carriage houses that are clustered behind an unprepossessing entryway. Thanks for sharing the secret.

  6. wildnewyork Says:

    I only wish I could see someone lead their horse down one!

  7. Craig Nelson Says:

    Thanks for the tip. I’m in the West Village everyday, but I’ve never noticed those doors. Tomorrow I’ll keep an eye open for them!

  8. A secret house behind an East Village tenement « Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] family’s horses located behind, accessible through either a side passageway or a tunnel or ‘horsewalk‘ through the […]

  9. Carolyn Muzzey Says:

    They would leave the carriage or wagon out front?

  10. Carol Daniels Fisher Says:

    I lived at 83 Sullivan st 1942-1950 wondered what was behind the door as a child.

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