Welcome to the New York Architecture Diary, your essential guide to architecture exhibitions and events taking place across the city.
From the Victorian style townhouse that was the childhood home of Virginia O’Hanlon (whose letter to a New York Sun editor prompted the most famous treatise on Santa Claus), to the fairy-tale-like Pomander Walk, to stunning churches such as St. Michael’s and West End Presbyterian, The Bloomingdale Blocks on Manhattan’s Upper West Side are bursting with holiday cheer straight out of a Currier and Ives print! Join urban planner and guide Laurence Frommer to tour these quiet tree-lined streets near the Hudson River from West 96th Street to West 110th Street, that boast some of New York’s finest remaining turn-of-the-century row-houses, apartment buildings, institutional structures and public monuments, often designed by leading architects. From its prominent role in the Revolutionary War, to its much acclaimed reputation for grand estates and popular country inns – where New Yorkers went sleigh riding in winters in the 19th century! – to its emergence as a kind of Parnassus on the Hudson in the 20th century, the Bloomingdale Blocks have played a critical role in New York’s history. Until recently, much of this area had no historic protection, and some very tall developments have caused alarm. Recent historic district extensions hold promise but areas left out have caused concern. Join us as we explore this postcard holiday village on Manhattan’s Upper, Upper West Side.