Posts Tagged ‘yellow fever epidemic’

A wood-frame West Village home, then and now

June 7, 2010

In 1822, New York City was gripped by a deadly yellow fever epidemic. 

To escape the outbreak, many residents relocated a few miles north to pastoral Greenwich Village. 

William Hyde, the man who built this lovely Federal-style house, may have been among them.

Hyde was a window-sash maker who put up the then–two story home as well as a small back workspace before wooden structures were outlawed in 1866.

The photo above, by Berenice Abbott, captures Hyde’s house in 1936. Another floor and a fire escape have been added.

The single family home was carved into apartments around 1920; the back workspace also became a separate residence.

Today, it looks like a single-family home again. The fire escape is gone, and part of the wood siding has disappeared as well.

It’s still one of the sweetest homes in the Village, a reminder of its country past.

Taking a joy ride along the river in Bay Ridge

September 14, 2008

The back of this 1906 postcard states that the view “looks north from 85th Street.” The riders in that vehicle must have endured some rough bumps along the road. 

I wish the postcard identified the structure with the lovely porch and turrets. In the distance you can see, faintly, the Statue of Liberty.

Bay Ridge got its name from the glacial ridge beneath it that provides high, sloping views of the water. Originally called Yellow Hook after its yellowish sand, this village in the town of Nieuw Utrecht was renamed following a yellow-fever epidemic that ravaged the area in the 1840s.