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Thread: Washington Heights

  1. #46

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    I found those photos I had takenway back when’ the retaining wall came down and onto the Hudson River Parkway.

    http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showth...l=1#post118054

    http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showth...l=1#post118054

    http://wirednewyork.com/forum/blog.php?u=5190
    Last edited by infoshare; November 9th, 2010 at 05:30 PM. Reason: link

  2. #47
    Fearless Photog RoldanTTLB's Avatar
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    This is all lovely! I don't have any photos up on Picasa at the moment, but I generally take photos of construction from all over the neighborhood every few months. There's not a ton of new build going on up here, but there's certainly some. I'll throw stuff up, as well as some shots from the roof of my building soon. It really is a great nabe, though. I didn't go to the CB12 meeting last night, but hopefully they approved the Arlene's Grocery people to open up the new place they're planning on 181st and Cabrini.

  3. #48
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    A virtual tour of my neighborhood, Fort Tryon Park, the Cloisters, and Washington Heights has some nice photos of the neighbourhood, including some marvelous Art Deco apartment buildings.

    I think it's a fascinating part of Manhattan, full of treasures .





    Another nice site for upper Manhattan.


  4. #49

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    Whenever I visit an apartment building in Washington Heights the building lobby is typically done in a traditonal ‘art deco’ design; some of those building offer no hint of the art deco style to found inside, with ‘deco’ being used only as an ‘interior design’ feature of the building.

    WaHi is has so many ‘hidden’ treasures: that is, ‘hidden’ untill folks start posting about them on internet forums. (LOL)

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/en321/3...7621813734574/

    P.S. Roldan, I look forward to seeing your photos posted here on this thread: I will 'subscribe' to this thread and add content as time permits.
    Last edited by infoshare; November 11th, 2010 at 09:19 AM.

  5. #50
    Fearless Photog RoldanTTLB's Avatar
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    Thanks! I've been super busy. Hoping to go for a walk to Target tomorrow, so I'll take new photos then. Then new building at 190 and Broadway must be nearly done. It's the biggest (non-Yeshiva) new build in the nabe since the Amsterdam on the park building over at 178 (177?) and Amsterdam.

  6. #51

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    More ‘hidden treasures’ in Washington Heights’.
    Excerpt - http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/c...-rss&FEEDNAME=
    A Manhattan cocaine and heroin trafficking gang run by men who played dominoes on the sidewalk as they kept a watchful eye on their turf has been busted, authorities announced today.
    The group – known as the “Old Timers” – routinely hung out in Washington Heights on West 160th Street, between Fort Washington Avenue and Broadway, and sold two pounds of drugs a week, according to the city’s Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan and NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly.


    Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/c...#ixzz15aHAuU2E

  7. #52

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    Glad they're caught too. Wonder how long it'll take for someone to take their place. Had to laugh when people referred to them as older guys & old timers, & the oldest one was 46! Ouch!

  8. #53
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    A nice reminder of this amazing - and precariously situated - little gem . Check out the slide show; it's gorgeous.


    For Sale: Pumpkin With a View

    By JOSH BARBANEL

    The Pumpkin House of Washington Heights, one of the most unusual residences in Manhattan, has gone on the market for $3.9 million.

    The 17-foot-wide brick house cantilevers over a cliff near the highest point in Manhattan, facing west toward the Hudson River.

    View Slideshow

    The light of the setting sun combined with the glow from the windows makes it look like a jack-o'-lantern from passing tour boats or people strolling by on a path by the river.

    The current owner of the pumpkin house, William Spink, a decorator, bought the house at 16 Chittenden Ave in 2000 for $1.1 million. Now after a decade of owning a house with a view, and after replacing the roof and pointing the facade, he said he was ready to move back into an apartment building where someone else handles the maintenance.

    Mr. Spink said he believed that Pumpkin House name may have been created years ago by guides on Circle Line tours around Manhattan. "When I bought the house I thought it meant native Americans grew pumpkins on the hillside," he said.

    The house has had four owners since it was built in the 1920s on a steel foundation sunk into a steep cliff at West 186th Street, just north of what is now the George Washington Bridge. It was commissioned by Cleveland Walcutt, an engineer, on land purchased from the estate of James Gordon Bennett, the publisher of the New York Herald.

    Mr. Walcutt was an investor in early recording machine companies, and was involved in an early patent fight over the the right to make and sell copies of cylinders for the Edison phonograph. But in 1927, a few years after the house was finished and just as work on the George Washington Bridge was getting underway, Mr. Walcutt lost the house to foreclosure.

    The house totals about 3,000 square feet of space and features two terraces as well as a large rooftop patio and pavilion, according to the property listing by Laurel Rosenbluth of Gumley Haft Kleier.

    The living room has an original marble mantle, mahogany paneling and a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows that face west and create the mouth of what would seem to be a giant carved pumpkin. The views extend from the bridge to the south to the cliffs of the Palisades to the north.

    The house is now configured for two familes, with two cellars underneath, one with the boiler, and another with the steel beams that support the rear of the house. Despite the breathtaking drop in the rear, the front of the house is entered on street level and includes a two-car garage.

    Five years ago, a 65-foot-high retaining wall next door ro to the Pumpkin House gave way at Castle Village, spilling debris from a rear yard onto the northbound lanes of the Henry Hudson Parkway.

    At $3.9 million, the asking price for the property is higher than the highest price paid for a townhouse in Upper Manhattan.

    In 2006, a hedge-fund manager paid $3.89 million, according to property records, for a house on Convent Avenue and West 143rd Street.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...LEFTTopStories



    August 14, 2008

    A Face in the Crowd

    By STEVEN KURUTZ





    slide show

    WHEN a building is perched atop a ridge that happens to be the highest natural point in Manhattan, cantilevered over a cliff like one of those engineering marvels that are affixed to California hillsides, it tends to attract attention. In the case of a three-story brick house just north of the George Washington Bridge, it has been given its own nickname: the Pumpkin House.

    The name refers to the image created by the house’s lighted windows. “I would see the house and think, good god, it does look like a big pumpkin,” said John Keatts, a tour guide for Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises, whose boat trips on the Hudson River offer the best view of the house, at the corner of 186th Street and Chittenden Avenue. At certain hours, especially at sunset, the sun casts an orange glow on the windows: two on top, a center pane and a wide window on the bottom.

    “One out of every three or four trips someone will mention it,” said Mr. Keatts, who usually points out the Pumpkin House if tourists don’t.

    The home’s owner, William Spink, an interior designer, was aware of its renown when he purchased the place eight years ago (the listing referred to it by name), but said its minor architectural celebrity was irrelevant to his decision. “It’s not the White House,” said Mr. Spink, 62, who has a dry wit and a great tuft of brown hair.

    In fact, he nearly passed on the house because he had previously lived in a loft in SoHo, and on first impression the space felt too constricted. For all its exterior majesty, the interior is the opposite: narrow hallways, low ceilings, tight stairwells and small rooms that a real estate agent might describe as cozy.

    But the chance to own a free-standing home in Manhattan after years of apartment living was intriguing. And there was the view, a breathtaking panorama that looks across the river to the Palisades and sweeps from the George Washington Bridge up to the Tappan Zee.

    “The view is ever-changing and always amazing,” said Mr. Spink on a recent afternoon, sitting in the wood-paneled, antique-filled living room that overlooks the Hudson. Floor-to-ceiling windows on one wall filled the room with light. Asked if he ever feels anxious about being suspended over a 265-foot drop, Mr. Spink said, “You’re at street level when you walk in, so you don’t really think about it.”

    (A retaining wall collapsed a few blocks south three years ago, and last October, a worker from a construction crew hired by Mr. Spink to repoint the side of his home fell off the building and was seriously injured.)

    The shape of the house looked even more dramatic in photographs taken shortly after it was completed in 1925, two years before construction began on the George Washington Bridge, when wide swaths of Upper Manhattan remained undeveloped. The cantilevered, steel-frame house was built by an engineer named Cleveland Walcutt on land he bought in 1923 from James Gordon Bennett Jr., the publisher of The New York Herald.

    Speaking years later, Cleveland Walcutt Jr. described his father as “really sort of a dreamer.” Architectural drawings of the house show an eccentric plan: six bedrooms squeezed into the upstairs floor, four of them without doors; two bathrooms containing showers but no tubs. “He shouldn’t have built that house,” the son once said. “I had no love for the place.”

    Mr. Walcutt was a widower with four sons, and the family lived there only briefly. The house went into foreclosure in 1927 and passed through two more owners before Mr. Spink bought it.

    “This was the least blank canvas of anywhere I’ve ever lived,” Mr. Spink said. He did some renovating, but to save money he decided to work around the wood paneling, the tiled ceiling and walls in the kitchen alcove and a warren of tiny rooms. He pulled up carpets to reveal cork floors, and installed new cabinetry and a modern range.

    The furnishings are an engaging mix of items and eras. In the living room, space is shared by a Warhol serigraph of Marilyn Monroe, a pair of bronze Indians, blown glass pieces by Dale Chihuly, a grandfather clock and an Egyptian revival side table. “You can wedge in almost anything,” Mr. Spink said. “You just have to like the item.”

    SOMETIMES he likes something because it is imperfect, like the two Ming dynasty bowls he bought at a Doris Duke estate auction. One bowl had been cracked and repaired by the heiress, and Mr. Spink recalled thinking, “Broken isn’t so great, but repaired by Doris Duke might be interesting.”

    While Mr. Spink can give detailed descriptions of the antiques that fill his home, he is vague when discussing his work, and said only that he tried to collaborate with clients because “people spend a lot of money, so to not have fun is peculiar.”

    He preferred to talk about the art that fills his home, a subject on which he is expansive. Much of the of wall space is covered with paintings, prints, drawings and photographs, many of them portraits, like the images of the French arts patron Misia Sert in the upstairs hall, one by Toulouse-Lautrec, another by Pierre Bonnard.

    “A friend once asked me how I can live with so many people staring at me,” Mr. Spink said. Upstairs, a Maxfield Parrish print hangs over the tub.

    Mr. Spink lives in the upper two floors; the lower floor is an apartment he rents out. He said it was unlikely that he would expand into the apartment, but has considered turning the roof, which is partly covered by a wooden ceiling, into an entertaining or garden space with a grand view.

    Standing on the roof on a bright afternoon, he pointed out the challenge facing him, looking glumly at the tar paper flooring. “It would be wonderful to tile or deck this roof,” he said. “I might even make it green by adding solar panels.”

    Gesturing south toward the bridge, he said, “You can see boats like the Queen Mary coming up the river from up here.” For all the time he has spent at the house, Mr. Spink has never seen it from the river. He originally guessed that the house got its name because Indians once grew pumpkins on the hillside below.

    He remains skeptical. “I guess if you’ve had enough Quaaludes,” he said, “it might look like a pumpkin.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/14/garden/14pumpkin.html

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/jag9889...n/photostream/

  9. #54
    Fearless Photog RoldanTTLB's Avatar
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    Wow! It's been a crazy few months. I'm very sorry to all of you who I kept hanging. Here's a batch of photos from the nabe. They start at my building on 181st and then work south-southeast to the macombs dam bridge and back. If you have any questions for me, please don't hesitate to ask. I'm not around town for another weekend until February, but once I am, I'll try to take some more photos.


    This is looking west down 181st St to the Hudson. It's taken from the sidewalk in front of my building. The bar/restaurant downstairs is nice. Go sometime.


    This is looking east up 181st St. from the same spot as the first photo.


    The Collegiate Church at the corner of 181 and ft. washington.


    United Palace Theater at 175th and Broadway. Now a Church. I've seen The Smashing Pumpkins, Sigur Ros, and Mika play here. All awesome.


    Brand new Bravo Supermarket across the street from UPT. This was built in the 6 months between my trips down this direction. Boy was I shocked to find it.


    Random building of average neighborhood stock.


    A house! There are a few of these around the area, and I'm weirded out by every last one. It feels very un-Manhattan. This one is at 173rd right before Amsterdam.


    Water tower (at the end of the high bridge) and rec center (pool) at 173rd and Amsterdam.


    Playground near the pool above.


    Back of the Morris-Jumel Mansion from Edgecombe Ave.


    One of the tallest apartment buildings in the whole neighborhood. I really like this building as well. It's at the corner of 160th and Edgecombe.


    Troubled retail in the bottom of the building above. It was a cute little bakery for a while, but this is the only retail for blocks in any direction, and so it's just not a destination. This building faces the park and the polo grounds (now projects) down the hill, so it's very quiet over here.


    One of the lesser known step streets (the only good thing ever done for pedestrians in upper Manhattan). This one is 157th St. There is another on Pinehurst right by my apartment, another on 187th st and one on 215th st. There might be more. I should catalog all of them on a walk some day. They were each built where a hill was too steep for cars.


    Looking back at the neighborhood. You can see the awful projects over i95 as well as the water tower from earlier.


    Fast forward! Now we're looking at the bridge from 179th.


    The amazing playground owned by the PANYNJ next to the GW on 180th st. Unfortunately it's almost never ever open. I think I may start volunteering next year so the park can be open for neighborhood children. It is a shame it's never open.


    More of the park.


    Just a little more of the park (I really like it!).


    My building again, but this time from Cabrini.

    Sorry it's a small start! Next time there will be more. I'd like to do a thing from Gorman Park, which is another favorite of mine from the neighborhood. It's on Broadway at 189th.

  10. #55
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Excellent showcase, Roldan . And thank you for the informative captions.

    Keep 'em coming !

    I love step streets. Here's a preview :hint: of the 187th and 215th Street ones:



    http://www.forgotten-ny.com/STREET%2...ETS/steps.html




    http://www.streetsblog.org/2009/07/0...delayed-again/

    http://www.streetsblog.org/2008/08/2...h-step-street/



    http://myinwood.net/215th-street-stairs/

    Pinehurst Avenue:


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hu...rst_stairs.jpg
    Last edited by Merry; December 22nd, 2010 at 10:45 AM. Reason: typo

  11. #56

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    Very beautiful.

  12. #57

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    Great photo tour. Manhattan Island sure has a varied landscape.

    At some point I am going to organizing a photo/walking tour of WaHi. Keep an eye on the WNYmeetup event calendar folks: eventually I will get around to it - I hope.

    http://www.meetup.com/wirednewyork/
    Last edited by infoshare; December 22nd, 2010 at 10:15 AM. Reason: meetup link

  13. #58
    Fearless Photog RoldanTTLB's Avatar
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    There's a number of step streets in the Bronx as well. I happened upon one the other day rather unexpectedly, although now I can't remember where it was. I don't know that there's a list of these things that someone maintains. Additionally, they're hard to find on a map, because Google frequently shows the street continuing right over them (Yikes!). In any event, thanks for all the compliments. Hopefully I have more someday soon.

  14. #59

  15. #60
    Fearless Photog RoldanTTLB's Avatar
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    So there are many websites with bits and pieces of a list but nothing comprehensive. How disappointing. The steps I saw in the Bronx were these: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&sour...139.8,,0,-8.34

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