Upper Manhattan once resembled a country town

It looks like a country scene: a slender iron bridge, green bluffs across the river, groups of women strolling while shielding themselves with straw hats and sun umbrellas, a couple wheeling a child in a stroller, two men in a carriage led by a single horse.

A Midwestern village? Actually it’s 155th Street on the Harlem-Washington Heights border circa 1900, after the Macombs Dam Bridge opened in 1895 and before this section of Manhattan attracted industry, traffic, and a tidal wave of new residents looking for space and better housing.

The wonderful thing is that Macombs Dam Bridge still stands today, flanked by the same stone sentry towers.

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7 Responses to “Upper Manhattan once resembled a country town”

  1. Upper Manhattan once resembled a country town | News for New Yorkers Says:

    […] Source: FS – NYC Real Estate Upper Manhattan once resembled a country town […]

  2. Marilyn Says:

    Love this…and I love thinking about the fact that where NY Hospital/Weill Cornell is located on York and 68th-71st was vast woodland estates belonging to the Joneses and the Schermerhorns. The Mt. Vernon Inn still stands on E. 61st St.

    • ephemeralnewyork Says:

      Yes, and visiting the Mt. Vernon Inn makes it easy to imagine the woods that used to surround it. I love that house.

    • Beth Says:

      Jones Woods was on of the areas considered for Central Park. It was considered too remote to be useful to the city’s residents. I’m sure the families weren’t pleased, either.

  3. Blakeney Says:

    I believe I found the same view on Google Maps, though it is now sadly marred by urban sprawl, auto traffic, fences, communication wires and poles, and degraded by age and rust. But one can still see some greenery in the distance and imagine what it once was. It must have been pleasant and far more peaceful. For anyone interested, the modern view is here: https://www.google.com/maps/@40.828316,-73.9352712,3a,56y,97.58h,76.3t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sxaaFKo2WSBkQ2nsDSk-BnA!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

    • Reggie13 Says:

      I did the same thing (I always look places up to see what they look like now.) I’m just surprised the metal plaque seen in the postcard (that calls it CENTRAL BRIDGE) is still on it and in one piece.

    • Lady G. Says:

      Thanks for the link to google view. I always do that when looking up my ancestors’ addresses and locations too. Things change so much.

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