Posts Tagged ‘Abraham Van Nest house’

The grand country mansion on Bleecker Street

June 13, 2013

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]