Gramercy Park East

44 Gramercy Park North: A Neo-Gothic apartment building from 1929-30, designed by Schwartz & Gross. The building has two levels--one 15 stories, the other nine--reflecting the greater height allowed under zoning laws for buildings when they face a park. An earlier building at this address was writer Hart Crane's house in 1917.

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Gramercy Park

New York City's only surviving private park. Named for Crommessie Brook, "Crooked Little Knife" in Dutch. It was purchased by Peter Stuyvesant from the Dutch West India Co. in 1651, and deeded to freed slave Frans Bastiansen in 1674. Gramercy Park by mikeyNYC, on Flickr In 1761, it was acquired by James Duane, later New York's first post- inde- pend- ence mayor; he named it Gramercy Farm. It was bought in 1831 by lawyer and developer Samuel Ruggles, who laid out Gramercy Park. 2008-04-11 028 by snapsparkchik, on Flickr

Each owner of the lots surrounding Gramercy Park has a share in the park--and a key to get through the gate. Disputes between key-holders over how best to maintain the park have caused bitter splits in the neighborhood.

Compared to similar parks that are open to the public Gramercy Park, Lilies by NotLiz, on Flickr like Tompkins, Washington and Union squares, Gramercy suffers from a marked lack of energy and life. The park and the neighborhood would benefit greatly from a less restrictive access policy, but it's hard to imagine the residents who own the place giving up the thrill of exclusion.

the Dreaming Moon in Gramercy Park by evoque, on Flickr

The sculp- ture of a smiling Sun and Moon with dancing giraffes is Gregg Wyatt's Fantasy Fountain (1983).





38 (corner): Built c. 1854, this building became part of Sanderson's Family Hotel, later Gramercy Park House, described in an 1866 guidebook as "one of the largest hotels in the one of the most aristocratic localities of Gotham." The neo-Tudor facade dates to c. 1920. John Steinbeck was a starving writer on the seventh floor of this building in 1925-26.

37: Originally an Anglo-Italian townhouse built c. 1854, this was also incorporated into Sanderson's Family Hotel, which stretched along most of Gramercy Park East. The upper floors were Modernized in 1968. 36 Gramercy Park East by MGChan, on Flickr

36: This neo- Gothic white terra- cotta fantasia -- complete with gargoyles and full-size knights in armor--was designed by James Riely Gordon and NYC: 86 Gramercy Park East by wallyg, on Flickr completed in 1910. It's been home to actor John Barrymore, sculptor Daniel Chester French and circus producer John Ringling.

The Gramercy

Gramercy Park East. by van swearingen, on Flickr

34 (cor- ner): An 1883 high- rise, per- haps the city's first co-op, designed by George W. da Cunha. Its "Queen Anne forms are among the city's most spectacular"-- AIA 34 Gramercy Park East by Walking Off the Big Apple, on Flickr Guide. It's been home to film stars James Cag- ney, John Carra- dine and Margeret Hamilton. Its original elevators were replaced in 1994 after 111 years of service.

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Brotherhood Synagogue

Synagogue garden, Gramercy Park by Walking Off the Big Apple, on Flickr

144 E 20th: Was Friends' Meeting House, which merged with the meeting on Stuyvesant Square; the synagogue moved here from the building it shared with the Village Presbyterian Church on West 13th after a falling-out over the 1973 Arab-Israeli War.

Columbia University's James Stewart Polshek designed the adjacent Garden of Remembrance.

What am I missing on Gramercy Park East? Write to Jim Naureckas and tell him about it.

New York Songlines Home.

Sources for the Songlines.