Sylvan Terrace: A 'rural' enclave – am New York

By Lucy Cohen Blatter

Photo Credit: Michael Kirby Smith|am New York

St. Nicholas Avenue between 160th and and 161st streets seems like just your run-of-the-mill Washington Heights street, but walk up a small stone staircase on the east side of the street, and you’re transported into a different time.

1882, to be exact.

Sylvan Terrace is a historic cobblestone block that once served as the carriageway to the Morris-Jumel Mansion, Manhattan’s oldest house. Both sides of the street feature a total of 20 nearly identical high-stoop wooden row houses facing one another. These yellow clapboard homes appear much as they would have in 1882, with wooden shutters, ship lap siding, bracketed eves and wooden stoops. In fact, the Landmarks Preservation Commission requires residents paint the exteriors with the nearly original colors — yellow, maroon, green and brown.

The street is a true rarity, said Lucinda Martinez, who’s lived there since 2002. “There’s only one block in New York City like that. The kids can play in the street,” she added, because there’s no parking and little traffic.

And one of these historic houses can be yours — nos. 2 and 11 are on the market.

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Photo Credit: Michael Kirby Smith|am New York

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