Monday, November 17, 2008

Inwood, Park Terrace East Between 217th and 215th Streets

Mary Sargent © 2008 …………………………………….. click to enlarge

Mary Sargent © 2008 …………………………………….. click to enlarge

(continuing from last night) Whereas on the east side of the street, we have these rather utilitarian buildings. They're in two groupings, but look so much alike in structure and materials that they must have been built by the same builder. But look how unfinished the first grouping looks compared to the second one. Not only does the second group have finished tops with architectural elements I don't know the name of, but it has decorative brickwork going down the corners of the building.

Mary Sargent © 2008 …………………………………….. click to enlarge

And just look at the entrance! Embassy, no less.

Which has me wondering. Did they plan it this way from the start and charge cheaper rent in the plainer version? Or were they going to construct them identically and then something happened to prevent it? The war, for example. That's the Second World War to you youngsters. Like, uh, their decorative workers were drafted? They ran out of money? These are the questions I ponder.

And here's another one. Who named these streets? There's no 216th Street west of Broadway and there's no 217th Street east of Broadway. Did they have a certain number of numbers they had to fit in so that the last street in Manhattan was 220? Were they drunk?

See map.


Anonymous said...

I may or may not be right about this one. But, I believe there was a 217th street East of Broadway until a couple of years ago. The "island" where Broadway and 10th Avenue intersect across from Twin Donuts" used to have a small street that went from Broadway to 10th Avenue. However when they paved over 10th avenue they removed that street and made the island bigger. I think this was 217th street.


Mary Sargent said...

thanks for your comment, JD. I like your story, and I want to believe it, but I'm hesitating because I have a pretty old street map that doesn't have 217th street east of Broadway. But, come to think of it, it also doesn't have 214th Street and I've been on 214th Street. So, maybe so.

Anonymous said...

I think the answer is that the old Kingsbridge trolley depot predates the street grid. They never made a 217th east of Broadway because by the time the Seaman-Drake estate was carved up and 217th was created, there was already a giant streetcar barn that blocked the creation of any 217th east of Broadway.

216th never went west for the same reason -- the Seaman-Drake estate blocked it, and then the Park Terrace Gardens was built, preserving the superblock. 216th never had a chance to exist up on the hill.

Anonymous said...

My grandparents lived in this building. I thought it was beautiful on the inside and well as outside. This is 50 park terrace east. I don't know why it says embassy on the front but I would love to know why.