Harlem–A Revitalized Upper West Side Manhattan Neighborhood
Harlem is on Manhattan’s Upper West Side and was established in the mid 1600s by Dutch Governor Peter Stuyvesant. It was named after the Dutch City, Harlem and its borders are 110th Street to Harlem River, 5th Avenue to St. Nicholas Avenue, 96th Street to Harlem River and East River to 5th Avenue.
Along with other urban spaces in New York City, the 20th century brought about gentrification within Harlem and pricing for housing soared. In the early 2000s, Central Harlem brownstones were around $400K. In 2005, developers were selling brownstone shells for $1.1M. Today, Harlem offers residents a range of choices–from luxury town homes, condos and co-ops to beautifully-restored brownstones. Many choose Harlem as an option to pricier residences in other Manhattan neighborhoods.
West Harlem contains and is nearby the smaller neighborhoods of Hamilton Heights, Sugar Hill and Morningside Heights. There’s nearby Columbia University at Broadway and 116th Street; Barnard College on Broadway between West 116th and 120th Streets and the Manhattan School of Music between Broadway and Claremont Avenue. For green space, there’s 30-acre Morningside Park and over 250 acres at Riverside Park. Row houses, turn-of-the-century buildings and elegant, modern condos are sprinkled throughout the area.
For luxury living, 2280 Frederick Douglass at 122nd & 123rd Streets offers condo living with plenty of amenities and city views. Town houses on 377 West 12th Street offer 600 to 5,000 square feet of living space and range in price from $499K to $1.299M. There’s also beautifully-renovated 1920s town homes that have private backyards on 475 West 140th Street at Convent Avenue in Hamilton Heights, priced at over $2M. Bradhurst Carriage House Duplex in Hamilton Heights/Sugar Hill is a 19th-century pre-war condo renovated to reflect contemporary elegance.
Central Harlem has Striver’s Row in the historic St. Nicholas District and Strivers Row Condominiums at 235 West 137th Street are among the newest luxury developments in the area. One Striver’s Row at 2605 Frederick Douglass Boulevard is set within historic brownstones and known as the “West Village–uptown.” Beacon Towers at 29th West 138th Street is another new apartment building and some two-bedrooms offer private terraces.
Harlem Sol 123 at 123 West 131st Street are two adjacent buildings; one is a classic brownstone and the other a contemporary town home building containing eight residences.
There’s plenty to do and see nearby: Historic Lenox Lounge, a Harlem jazz club icon has been here since the early 1930s, the Apollo Theater, where past and present music legends have played to sold-out audiences, and the legendary Cotton Club where Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday and a host of jazz geniuses have appeared.
East Harlem, along Fifth Avenue’s famous Museum Mile has 1280 Fifth Avenue, a 116-unit luxury apartment building designed by New York’s famous architect, Robert A.M. Stern. It’s also home to the new Museum for African Art, the last museum on Museum Mile. A gorgeous Emory Roth pre-war condo building is at 1200 Fifth Avenue that’s steps away from Central Park, and the Stamford at 414 East 120th Street is a six-story boutique-style building near the new East River Plaza that contains a broad range of retail shopping and entertainment options.
Former President Bill Clinton’s penthouse office is located on 55 West 125th Street and President Obama lived at 339 East 94th Street in nearby Yorkville (between East Harlem and Manhattan) during his college years.
Harlem has undergone enormous change since the 1990s and its population has surged with the influx of new developments. A mixture of people and a rich history defines its past and present and those who live here enjoy that culture with the added benefit of Manhattan-style living within historic and modern designs.