The grand country mansion on Bleecker Street

PeterwarrenheadshotBy the 1740s, Irish-born royal British navy officer Peter Warren (left) had amassed enough wealth to build himself an impressive estate in rural Greenwich Village.

So he bought 300 acres and commissioned a palatial home called The Manse—”a fine home to which he and his family could escape during the heat and stink of summer in the crowded city,” wrote John Strausbaugh in his wonderful new book, The Village.

“The house stood about 300 yards back from the river, on ground which fell away on a gentle slope towards the waterside,” wrote Thomas Janvier, by way of Anna Alice Chapin’s book Greenwich Village.

Peterwarrenhouse1“The main entrance was from the east; and at the rear—on the level of the drawing-room and a dozen feet or so above the sloping hillside—was a broad veranda commanding the view westward toward the Jersey Highlands and southward down the bay to the Staten Island Hills.”

The actual location of the Manse was between today’s Bleecker, West Fourth, Charles and Perry Streets. This was prime real estate then and now.

The Warrens didn’t stay in the house for long. After they left New York, it changed hands and was purchased in 1819 by a New Yorker named Abraham Van Nest.

Incredibly, the Manse stood until 1865—after which the land it occupied was finally developed, the last piece of Greenwich Village to be urbanized.


Peter Warren’s home is gone. But his presence lives on in the names of his sons-in-law, who inherited his property. One was the earl of Abingdon, the namesake of Abingdon Square.

[Second and third illustrations: NYPL Digital Collection]

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6 Responses to “The grand country mansion on Bleecker Street”

  1. Brad Says:

    Thanks for posting about New York history! I live in Brooklyn and have been doing a lot of research in an attempt to discover when my home was built in Gowanus. I have it narrowed down to somewhere between 1860 and 1880, but I can’t get any closer than that. Any help would be appreciated!

  2. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    Brad, have you tried the Brooklyn Eagle archives?

    The Brooklyn Historical Society could probably help you too.

  3. Brad Says:

    I have in fact, thanks for the tip though!

  4. CHELSEA, LATELY: New Park on West 20th - Forgotten New York Says:

    […] represent a street, Warren Road that passed through the 300-acre farm of Sir Peter Warren, whose mansion stood at present-day Abingdon Square in Greenwich Village. Along with Warren Road, the pre-1811 map of Chelsea also included Southampton Road and FitzRoy […]

  5. Two elite addresses on 1830s Bleecker Street | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] for the family whose farm once surrounded it, Bleecker Street between the Bowery and Sixth Avenue became one of New York’s most fashionable addresses in […]

  6. A guide to now-defunct Greenwich Village street names in 1865 | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] Street. Who was Amos? That would be Charles Christopher Amos, according to, the heir to landowner Sir Peter Warren. Amos also lent his name to Charles and Christopher […]

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