FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 11, 2018
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This historic district features an enclave of early 20th-century houses that stand out among the neighborhood’s apartment buildings.
NEW YORK – Today, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) designated the Park Terrace West-West 217th Street Historic District in Inwood, Manhattan. This historic district features an enclave of early 20th-century houses that stand out among the neighborhood’s apartment buildings.
“I am delighted the Commission has designated the Park Terrace West-West 217th Street Historic District,” said Landmarks Preservation Commission Chair Sarah Carroll. “This district has a unique history in the development of Inwood and a very special character that is reflected in its picturesque houses and landscaped topography.”
The Park Terrace West-West 217th Street Historic District is comprised of 15 two-story houses, all either free-standing or semi-detached, with yards and garages, more commonly found in the city’s other boroughs. The small scale of the houses and the suburban quality of the district is due to the later development of this part of Inwood, which was occupied by large estate properties or farms that were not sold until the 20th century.
Designed by architects Moore & Landsiedel, Benjamin Driesler, Louis Kurtz, C. G. de Neergaard, and A. H. Zacharius between 1920 and 1935, the district illustrates the popularity of the eclectic revival styles and the influence of the Arts and Crafts in American residential architecture during the 1920s and 30s. Although six different architects or firms used two distinct revival styles: Tudor and Colonial Revival, the area presents a collection of houses unified by their scale, similar architectural styles, and use of landscaped gardens that accentuate the area’s topography. The houses are remarkably well-preserved and retain most of their original design and materials.
“Historic districts are one of our best tools to preserve the heritage of neighborhoods built decades or even centuries ago, and the Park Terrace West – West 217th Street Historic District is a great example of that. These fifteen buildings, with their charming Craftsman-style details, form a matched set in a style rarely seen in the rest of the borough,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “Congratulations to the Inwood residents whose years of advocacy have been realized in the neighborhood’s first historic district designation, and thank you to the Landmarks Preservation Commission for quickly and professionally undertaking the work necessary to get to a decision.”
“I thank the Landmarks Preservation Commission for supporting the designation of the Park Terrace West historic district in Northern Manhattan,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. “It is vital that we recognize the remarkable structural designs that our City has to offer and continue preserving their historical significance. Park Terrace West is an example of iconic early 20th century architecture and part of the distinctive character of Inwood. Now it will be a permanent icon of our City’s prosperous history.”
“Community Board 12-Manhattan (CB12M) is pleased that, with the designation of the Park Terrace West- West 217th Street Historic District, the Landmarks Preservation Commission has begun to recognize and acknowledge Inwood's rich architectural history and legacy,” said Wayne A. Benjamin, Chair of CB12M’s Land Use Committee. “For more than a decade we have encouraged LPC to advance the designation of historic districts and individual buildings throughout Washington Heights and Inwood. This is a start and we look forward to working with LPC to advance the designation of more historic districts.”
“We are very pleased with the LPC's vote today,” said David Thom, spokesperson for the Park Terrace North Block Association. “These much-loved buildings are an intrinsic part of the neighborhood's unique character in spring, summer, winter and fall. We are grateful for this designation and hope that expansion and additional districts will be possible in the near future.”
“Thank you to the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission for today’s historic vote recognizing a small portion of Inwood, the great community at the top of Manhattan Island, as its first historic district,” said Pat Courtney, Park Terrace West resident.