On Thin Ice: A 1932 Drowning on the Spuyen Duyvil

1932 drowning on the Spuyten Duyvil

On Christmas Eve of 1932 some thirty children were skating and sliding on the frozen inlet at the base of Inwood Hill when the ice gave way. Noemie Kennedy, who curated a Native American museum from a cabin near the water’s edge, told reporters that the kids had told her of their plan to play […]

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Inwood’s Dyckman Street Ferry

Dyckman Ferry

On June 17, 1915 a procession of more than fifty automobiles gathered in Inwood to mark an historic occasion—the inauguration of the new Dyckman Street ferry, which would make its maiden voyage across the Hudson River, to the popular recreation sites along the New Jersey Palisades, later that afternoon. “The procession, marshaled by Mr. Thomas […]

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Exile in Inwood: The Max Brauer Story

Max Brauer

In 1933 Nazi storm troopers entered the home of Max Brauer, the Socialist mayor of Altona, a working class German suburb just west of Hamburg. Brauer and other leaders who publicly denounced Hitler had been slated for roundup. But the handsome forty-six-year-old politician with a cleft chin and shock of dark slicked back hair had […]

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Park Terrace Gardens Rises from the Ruins of the Old Seaman Mansion

Seaman mansion, Inwood, New York City

In early November of 1938 newspapers around the globe trained their headlines on a stunning victory on the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. The heroic story of Seabiscuit, a small, knobby-kneed horse who preferred sleeping to racing, over War Admiral, the four to one favorite, captured everyone’s imagination. The underdog had slain Goliath and […]

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A Buried City: The Blizzard of 1888

Thumbnail image for A Buried City: The Blizzard of 1888

In March of 1888 New York City was slammed by one of the most devastating blizzards in recorded history.   From March 11th to 15ththe city was buried underneath a fifty-inch blanket of snow. The Great White Hurricane, as it came to be known, disabled transportation and telegraph communication from the Chesapeake Bay to Montreal.  Huge, […]

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Inwood Apartment Rentals in 1936

Isham Garden courtyard thumbnail

As many of you know, I both sell and rent apartments in the Inwood area.  So it was a true joy to come across the following article describing the Inwood rental scene of 1936. I am intimately familiar with many of the buildings described below.  Many are still rental properties.  Others have gone co-op through […]

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91 Payson Avenue: An Art Deco Masterpiece

91 Payson thumb

In 1935 a new apartment house opened on 91 Payson Avenue in the Inwood section of Manhattan. The stunning apartment building, named “Payson House,” cost  $250,000 to erect. Today, the co-op building, across the street from Inwood Hill Park, is one of the finest examples of art deco design in northern Manhattan. Stepping into the […]

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The Greening of Inwood: The Children’s Garden of P.S. 52

Inwood farming

Inwood boomed with the thump of heavy equipment at the dawn of 1905.  The newly arrived elevated subway had ushered in unprecedented development. Apartment houses were erected at a dizzying pace. The chaotic environment grated one’s nerves. Early residents, lured  uptown with hollow promises of “Country Quiet and Pure Air,” found themselves living amid a […]

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