91 Payson Avenue: An Art Deco Masterpiece

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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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Asylums on Inwood Hill

Asylums on Inwood Hill

A century ago  asylums and institutions lined the ridge of Inwood Hill.  Inside these fortress-like structures, all demolished by Robert Moses in the 1930′s, tortured, long-dead souls were kept under lock and key.  Some were criminals, some were inebriates and drug addicts, others had the mere misfortune of suffering from tuberculosis.   All were outcasts, banished […]

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From Dyckman Street to Treasure Island

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Near the beginning of the last century, Mrs. Addison J. Rothermel faced both an agonizing loss and a difficult decision.  Tuberculosis had taken her husband and doctors warned that her two teenage boys, Addison Jr.  and Royale Valray, might also succumb to the “white plague” if they continued to live in the cramped and unventilated […]

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Isham Gardens

Building detail from Isham Gardens in Inwood, New York.

Between Seaman Avenue & Park Terrace West Designed in 1924 by the architectural team of Springsteen and Goldhammer, Isham Gardens was the brainchild of builder Conrad Glaser. Glaser envisioned an uptown utopia where middle class New Yorkers could live amidst a resort like atmosphere. And, Springsteen and Goldhammer were up to the task. They designed […]

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Paranormal Inwood: The Strange Case of Walter Francis Burns

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As a cool autumn breeze settled in on his home among the trees on the western slope of Inwood Hill, Walter Francis Burns awoke from a terrible dream.  Lost in a chilling nightmare Burns had just witnessed his youngest son, Otway, run over by an automobile not far from the family’s northern Manhattan home. The […]

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Inwood Serial Killer: “Texas Jim” Baker

Texas Jim Baker

“I had a periodical desire to poison human beings and in killing them in this manner, I derive a certain mental satisfaction.  When this mania seizes me, I want to kill the nearest person to me.” –excerpt from “Texas Jim” Baker’s murder confession. On the morning of December 27, 1928 New York Police responded to […]

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The Indian Caves of Inwood Hill Park

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On the northern tip of Manhattan, a twenty-minute walk from the subway,  is an historical site so rare and unexpected that it warrants a detour on any tourist’s itinerary. The majestic “Indian caves” of Inwood Hill Park were once used as a seasonal camp by the Lenape people who lived in the region before the […]

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Glacial Potholes of Inwood Hill Park

glacial pothole

Just off the path, in an area of Inwood Hill Park known as “The Clove,” are a series of rock formations that have fascinated geologists and hikers for generations. These glacial potholes, which look almost man-made, are the product of glacial runoff that occurred during the last ice age some 50,000 years ago.  During a […]

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