Posts Tagged ‘Treadwell Farm Historic District’

There’s a lot going on outside the Third Avenue Railroad Depot in this 1859 painting

October 18, 2021

Sometimes a painting has so much rich detail, it just knocks you out. That was my reaction to this magnificent scene of the Third Avenue Railroad Depot between 65th and 66th Streets, painted two years after the depot opened in 1857.

Amazingly, the painter of this “precise representation” of the depot, William H. Schenck, was also the company’s superintendent, according to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which owns the work.

In 1859, this stretch of what would become the Upper East Side (near the Treadwell Farm Historic District) was mostly untouched by developers, though some wood houses are off in the distance. Street lamps stand on corners, however, and the road looks paved.

The streetcars pulled by horses follow the rails in and out of the depot. People are scattered about; some are on horseback, and one man steers a wagon full of goods. A hot air balloon sails through the sky, what’s that about?

“In addition to highlighting the contemporary popularity of the horse-drawn streetcar, Schenck also included a hot-air balloon in the sky, identified in tiny letters as the Atlantic,” the Met states. “The balloon’s owners, John Wise and John LaMountain, hoped to fly it across the Atlantic Ocean to initiate an entirely new form of transportation, but they never succeeded.”

Sadly, the Third Avenue Railroad Depot was destroyed by fire four years later.

An East Side farm gives way to lovely row houses

January 2, 2013

62ndstreettreadwell2Two centuries ago, a wealthy New Yorker named Adam Treadwell bought a 24-acre farm on Manhattan’s East Side, about where the East 60s are today.

When he died in 1852, his heirs inherited the property. Soon they began selling off small parcels to individual owners.

These new owners did something smart: they set up an agreement stipulating the height and width of the buildings they planned to put up, and they barred certain businesses from opening up there.

TreadwelldistrictTheir foresight leaves us with two breathtaking blocks mostly of four-story row houses built between 1868 to 1876, according to the document designating East 61st and 62nd Streets between Second and Third Avenues the Treadwell Farm Historic District.

The row houses were built in the French Second Empire and Italianate styles popular at the time.

“Today, the district is appreciated for the way it reveals the design aesthetic of the 1910s and 1920s,” explains the website for the Friends of the Treadwell Farm Historic District.


“During those years, most of the buildings were ‘modernized,’ i.e., stoops removed, and projecting detail stripped resulting in simplified elegance.”


There’s no river view or doormen standing by, but these two tree-lined blocks rank as among the loveliest in Manhattan, a tiny, little-known oasis of calm and beauty amid the crowds and traffic of East Midtown.

Take a peek inside one, recently for sale, via this Curbed listing. Price: just 7.9 million!