View Full Version : Washington Heights and Inwood Photo Tour

October 3rd, 2003, 11:55 AM
Incident at Broadway & Dykeman St: "Is that guy in the truck lookin' at me?

Since I had to schlep up and down these hills, the rest of you can at least learn about the geology.

The Bronx is mostly gneiss, but Manhattan is full of schist.

NYC bedrock map:

Fordham Gneiss is the oldest bedrock in the region. The cliff where Columbia painted the C is 1.1 billion years old. You'd think that Landmarks would object.

Gneiss and schist are very hard, so they weather slowly. The two ridges in upper Manhattan are schist bedrock. The Hudson formation is the same chain that starts in Morningside Heights. The break to the north of Morningside is the result of movement along the 125 st fault, which fractured the rock and created the.

Inwood marble is much softer rock, so it eroded at a greater rate, and accounts for the lower elevations in northeast Inwood. It is also the reason that Manhattan is an island. The Harlem and East Rivers were veins of Inwood marble that eroded and filled with water. Roosevelt Island remains because it is Fordham gneiss.

All the photos are here. (http://www.pbase.com/zippythechimp/wshngtn_hts_inwood)

I'll include some commentary.
The route is generally north along the Hudson and south along the Harlem.

1. Lots of bedrock outcropping here. The rule seems to be - there's a park wherever bedrock is near the surface.

4. There are 2 playgrounds close to the GWB (north and south). Both are fenced off with no tresspassing signs by the PA. Probably for security, but it seems pointless to me.

5. There are at least 3 such stairways.

9. Broadway runs below, between the ridges. The green area to the right is Gorman Park. Notice the building foundation supports.

14. This shot was taken from the greenway that runs on the median of the Henry Hudson Parkway. The northern and southern routes are at different elevations, so it's not like being in the middle of a highway.

17. There are several scenic overlooks in the park with great views. The park is a nice combination of landscaped areas and rugged trails on the steep slopes.

21. The fort area is closed for renovations.

27, 28, 29. All 3 buildings are at the same intersection. I should have gotten a cloeup of the brickwork and roof detailing of the 3rd one. The panels between the windows are checkerboards.

35. Some info on Bruce Reynolds (http://wtcpapdmemorial.com/officer_reynolds.htm).
I'll add: His parents moved from Pittsburgh to Inwood in the 1960s, and were among the first
African-American families in predominately Irish-American Inwood. He worked for a time at the NYC Parks Dept before joining the PAPD, and was known to the parks commissioner. When his body was taken to New Jersey, the PA closed the upper level of the GWB.

42. what is not legend is that this is the spot where a 280 year old tulip tree, the last link to the native people, finally died in the 1938. The Reckgawawnac made boats from tulip trees.

46, 47, 48. most of this area is taken up by the Dept of Sanitation and MTA.

50. This really should be called the Harlem River Ship Canal. The actual river here was the S shaped Spuyten Duyvil Creek, seen here in an old map.

The canal was completed in 1895, making Marble Hill an island. Later the creek was filled in, physically connecting Marble Hill to the Bronx. However, it is still in NY county - the county line exactly traces the old creek.

In 1936, Robert Moses straightened out the western portion of the S for the Henry hudson Parkway.

57. The very attractive PS 5.

59, 60, 61. While taking these photos, I met the landscape designers who are doing the restoration. I only remember his first name, Joseph, but he has my website.

62. Once you head down the river side of the speedway, you can't get off until 155 St, unless you want to cross Harlem River Drive.

Washington Heights-Inwood history here. (http://www.washington-heights.us/history/)

October 3rd, 2003, 12:36 PM
Great, great tour! What a cool area, so many spectacular views. Great maps too, the old one shows Kingsbridge - the first bridge connecting Manhattan to the mainland. Any signs of them opening High Bridge yet?

I must post this photo - this is Manhattan Island, folks......


October 5th, 2003, 02:37 PM
In much of its topography, layout and architecture, the area resembles the West Bronx, to which it seems interlocked. The Deco apartment buildings you show are similar, but with less colorful exuberance and subtler motifs. Tell me if my impression is wrong.

Very nice, including the geology lesson. One thing disturbs me though: I cannot save the photos anymore. Is it voluntary on your part or is it a new pbase policy?

So where are you taking us next? :D

October 5th, 2003, 06:36 PM
Concerning downloading photos: I have not done anything to inhibit downloading. To test it, I accessed my photos and those of another person without logging in. I was able to save photos from both with no trouble.

One thing that I noticed: If I click save pic as (inIE), the file is not saved with a jpg extension, and I have to pick a program to open it.
If I change the file name before downloading, it is saved as a jpg file and can be opened in the normal manner. Is your problem downloading the photo or opening it?


There is a lot more Deco, but most is similar to the streetscape in #10. The rooflines are simpler, and overall the buildings don't have the impact of those on the Concourse. Generally, they are in excellent condition, and most of the entryways are original or appropriate replacements.

So where are you taking us next?
Someplace flat. :?

October 6th, 2003, 08:00 PM
Thanks for the tip. I save simply by clicking the icon that appears on the image in IE, which worked fine on pbase until recently and still does elsewhere.

My New Backround (http://www.pbase.com/image/21692012)

Incident at Broadway & Dykeman St: "Is that guy in the truck lookin' at me?

He's looking at the woman, silly.

October 6th, 2003, 09:06 PM
So changing the file name works, right?

Many pbase users get upset, not so much when people download their images, but publish them as their own on websites. Pbase has been working on a password protect for galleries, but it involves a lot of work to the database. I just keep my original 1600x1200 and post 800x600 copies. If anyone wants them, it's ok with me. Someone from Budapest advised me to use max resolution on my photos. When I explained what I do, he asked "What if I need 1600x1200 images from your gallery?" I told him to make me an offer. :D

I'm relieved. She was much more attractive than me.

October 6th, 2003, 09:28 PM
Great photos, Zippy!

Also interesting: 190th Street subway station, with its vault and nifty elevator. Must be carved out of solid rock.

Is High Bridge abandoned?

October 6th, 2003, 10:17 PM
Yes, the A train station at Bennett and W190, carved out of the same rockface as photo 22. When I remembered, I was already up Inwood Hill and didn't want to trudge back.

I think we have a thread on the High Bridge, but I can't find it. There are plans to reopen the walkway, but I saw no evidence of any work. Besides the work on the Washington, there was work being done at the base of the Hamilton.

Highbridge Park seems to me to be the most neglected large park I've encountered, at least the slope side. Water erosion has washed away much of the trail, and there are fallen trees everywhere. The stone staircase at Washington Bridge, though usable, is a mess. The staircase under High Bridge is closed.

Repair work has begun on the northern end of the park. There is a trail halfway up the slope that has been repaved up to about W187. A guard rail was installed on the top of the ridge along Amsterdam to stop idiots who thought it was a good idea to roll abandoned cars down the steep slope.

October 8th, 2003, 06:16 AM
Another excellent tour, Zippy. This is a very interesting part of Manhattan and it's a shame a lot of people wouldn't think to venture that far north. I'm in Art Deco heaven again...

I didn't have any of the problems described regarding downloading the pics.

October 8th, 2003, 08:31 PM
So changing the file name works, right?

Upper Manhattan, the Urban Jungle (http://forums.wirednewyork.com/viewtopic.php?p=1053#1053) (related)

October 16th, 2003, 10:40 PM
A closer look at the Broadway Bridge:



October 25th, 2003, 09:17 PM
October 26, 2003


No Room Service, No River View


No Rms, No Riv Vu

Q. I have heard that there are caves in Inwood Hill Park and that people live in them. Cave dwellers in modern-day Manhattan? Can this be?

A. Inwood Hill Park, considered the only natural (nonlandscaped) park in Manhattan, contains three caves, as well as the last natural forest and salt marsh on the island. Why not cave dwellers, too?

Because the caves are not big enough, said Sara Hobel, director of the Urban Park Rangers.

"We refer to them as 'rock shelters,' '' she said. "They are really very shallow, not much more than 10 feet square. They're not large enough to accommodate a person living in them, although undoubtedly they were used for food storage and temporary shelter by the Lenapes, the Native Americans who inhabited the area."

Today, the caves wouldn't afford much privacy either. As Ms. Hobel noted, "They're right off the trail, in a heavily visited part of the park."

E-mail: fyi@nytimes.com

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

November 26th, 2005, 08:27 PM
Although I grew up uptown and have always worked downtown, I'm always amazed at the natural beauty of the Northern end of Manhattan. The topograhpy, the formations, especially towards the Hudson side. Basically a land not entirely tamed. Wish all of NYC could have stayed so natural.

Please save your images. Thanks for sharing them.

August 31st, 2007, 12:03 AM
Taken all within the same day from my temp. apt. in the Bronx.











August 31st, 2007, 12:14 AM







August 31st, 2007, 12:15 AM
Very nice.

August 31st, 2007, 12:26 AM
Cool Derek. How long you going to be there?

September 5th, 2007, 09:15 AM
Good shots, thank you!

November 29th, 2009, 08:44 AM
Slide Show in The New York Times.


SLIDE SHOW (http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2009/11/29/nyregion/20091129-stops-ss_index.html)

Copyright 2009 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

November 12th, 2010, 07:33 AM
http://s3.amazonaws.com/sfb111/story_xlimage_2010_11_R5663_Inwood_Housing_Up_15_P ercent_11112010.jpg
Homes on 217th Street, between Park Terrace East and West in Inwood. (Manhattan Street Project)


November 14th, 2010, 08:09 PM
Amazing a single-family home like that still exists there. I wonder, how much longer?

April 6th, 2011, 09:17 AM
This really is an fascinating neighborhood full of amazing (albeit hazardous in this case) nooks.

Unsafe Retaining Wall Threatens Property on Inwood Block Updated

A group of tenants and landlords from 11 buildings must work together to repair a dangerous retaining wall, says the city.

http://s3.amazonaws.com/sfb111/story_xlimage_2011_04_R5613_Retaining_Wall_Park_Te rrace_West_452011_NEEDS_PIC.jpg

http://s3.amazonaws.com/sfb111/story_xlimage_2011_04_R6077_Retaining_Wall_Park_Te rrace_West_452011_NEEDS_PIC.jpg

http://s3.amazonaws.com/sfb111/story_xlimage_2011_04_R80_Retaining_Wall_Park_Terr ace_West_452011_NEEDS_PIC.jpg

http://s3.amazonaws.com/sfb111/story_xlimage_2011_04_R8726_Retaining_Wall_Park_Te rrace_West_452011_NEEDS_PIC.jpg

http://s3.amazonaws.com/sfb111/story_xlimage_2011_04_R6964_Retaining_Wall_Park_Te rrace_West_452011_NEEDS_PIC.jpg

http://s3.amazonaws.com/sfb111/story_xlimage_2011_04_R9140_Retaining_Wall_Park_Te rrace_West_452011_NEEDS_PIC.jpg


April 6th, 2011, 10:14 AM
Free Mini-Inwood Film Festival at Indian Road Cafe

Film buffs will get to see Inwood in all its film glory at a mini-film festival put on by the history-loving Lost Inwood group.

By Carla Zanoni

http://s3.amazonaws.com/sfb111/story_xlimage_2011_04_R6693_Inwood_Film_Festival_4 52011.jpg

http://s3.amazonaws.com/sfb111/story_xlimage_2011_04_R8571_Inwood_Film_Festival_4 52011.jpg

http://s3.amazonaws.com/sfb111/story_xlimage_2011_04_R2409_Inwood_Film_Festival_4 52011.jpg

http://s3.amazonaws.com/sfb111/story_xlimage_2011_04_R3287_Inwood_Film_Festival_4 52011.jpg

http://s3.amazonaws.com/sfb111/story_xlimage_2011_04_R9425_Inwood_Film_Festival_4 52011.jpg


May 1st, 2013, 06:19 AM
Cornerspotted: A Long-Gone Wooden House On Academy St.

by Jessica Dailey


http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/Screen-Shot-2013-04-30-at-2.12.30-PM-thumb.jpg (http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/Screen-Shot-2013-04-30-at-2.12.30-PM.jpg)

The person who correctly guessed this week's Cornerspotter (http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2013/04/29/hint_where_one_home_stood_now_there_are_many.php) is clearly an expert on wooden houses in NYC—the commenter name is "Wooden House Project (http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2013/04/29/hint_where_one_home_stood_now_there_are_many.php#c omment-1267648)." The house depicted was located at 690 Academy Street in Inwood, and it was photographed in 1932 by Charles Von Urban as part of a quest to document every wood-framed structure in the city. Today, the site is occupied by a multi-family building that was built in 1938.

http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/MNY79960-thumb.jpg (http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/MNY79960.jpg)
[View of the house from the rear]

http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/MNY79962-thumb.jpg (http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/MNY79962.jpg)

Photo: 690 Academy Street, 1932 (http://collections.mcny.org/C.aspx?VP3=CMS3&VF=SearchDetailPopupPage&VBID=24UP1GVB2W57&PN=50&IID=2F3XC5CD7ZY7) [MCNY]
Hint: Where One Home Stood, Now There Are Many (http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2013/04/29/hint_where_one_home_stood_now_there_are_many.php) [Curbed]

http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2013/04/30/cornerspotted_a_longgone_wooden_house_on_academy_s t.php