It was more of a hill, a 60-foot incline called Mount Pitt about where Grand and Pitt Streets cross today.
For Manhattan at the time, this “mount” was a high point, affording incredible vistas New Yorkers would kill for now.
Let a book published in 1879 by a descendant of the man who made his home on the hill give the details (and then check out the country road–like view in the NYPL Digital Collection illustration:
“Upon this fine site still, though graded down very much, the highest point of that part of the city, which then commanded a magnificent prospect, extending on the east beyond Hellgate, on the west over the city and the bay to the shores of Staten Island and New Jersey, and on the south over the East River and the heights of Long Island. . . .”
During the war, colonists constructed a large redoubt on Mount Pitt called Jones Hill Fort.
Leveled after the war, Mount Pitt still exists in a way: fieldstone taken from it in the 1820s was used to build St. Augustine’s Church, on Henry Street.
Here’s Grand and Pitt Streets today: flattened out and a bit dreary. The current highest point in Manhattan lies several miles north.
Tags: Colonial Manhattan views, Delancey family Lower East Side, Grand Street photo, Jones Hill Fort, Jones Hill Lower East Side, Lower Manhattan forts, Mount Pitt Lower East Side, New York in the Revolutionary War, Pitt Street photo