Posts Tagged ‘Sylvan Terrace’

Vintage New York house numbers

November 30, 2009

These 19th century–looking numbers and letters on random buildings give the city such an old-timey vibe. A terra cotta relief on East Ninth Street marks a particularly lovely apartment building:

No. 1 Sylvan Terrace, in Harlem, has a very colonial feel:

This walkup on Weekhawken Street is especially sweet; the entire street name is painted above the door:


Is Sylvan Court the tiniest alley in Manhattan?

October 10, 2009

Unpaved and demapped, little Sylvan Court is a half-block blind alley off 121st Street between Lexington and Third Avenues. It’s an extension of equally obscure Sylvan Place, which runs from 120th to 121st.

Sylvancourt

The two-story houses on Sylvan Court were probably used as stables in the late 1800s, when Harlem was more of a sleepy village than the expansive urban neighborhood it would become by the early 20th century.

Sylvancourtcloseup

The homes aren’t in the greatest shape; the alleys of the West Village and Brooklyn Heights feature similar carriage houses that have been lovingly restored, not left to the elements. But they sure are charming. Unlike other alleys and mews in the five boroughs, they don’t have landmark protection.

Sylvan Court shouldn’t be confused with Sylvan Terrace—a better-restored mews dozens of blocks northwest.

Washington Heights’ lovely little country lanes

August 5, 2009

When you think of New York neighborhoods with lots of mews and alleys, the West Village and Brooklyn Heights probably come to mind.

But Washington Heights on the Harlem border has its share of tiny lanes as well. Two small streets in the 160s feature old-style lampposts, Belgian block paving stones, and pre-20th century residences. They make the area feel more like a time-warped country village than an urban center.

Sylvanterrace

Sylvan Terrace (above), up a flight of stairs from St. Nicholas Avenue, is a two-sided stretch of 20 wooden row houses flanking a once-private lane. The three-story houses were built in 1882 and restored in the 1980s.

Jumelterracemansion

At the end of Sylvan Terrace is Jumel Terrace. Spanning 160th-162nd Streets, this quiet, leafy road is the home of the Morris-Jumel Mansion (above), the oldest house in the borough. Built in 1765 on high ground with views of Manhattan, it served as George Washington’s headquarters during the Revolutionary War.

The city purchased the mansion in 1903 and restored it as a museum. Up until the late 1800s, this part of Harlem was still pretty rural.