Feb 17, 2007

Manhattan Neighborhood: Morningside Heights


Morningside Heights is the academic quarter of New York City. It stretches irregularly from north of 96th Street to about 123rd Street between Morningside Park and Riverside Park on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

From the top of a 135-foot bluff, it overlooks the Hudson River on one side and Harlem on the other. It is about 15 minutes from midtown Manhattan by subway. With apartments on the "Gold Coast" of Riverside Drive selling for well over $1,000,000, Morningside Heights is one of th granted scenic landmark status toe more desirable residential neighborhoods in Manhattan.

The area that is now Morningside park was described as "inconvenient for use" by a city surveyor in 1867, meaning difficult to build property on, so it was made into a park, which was called "Morning-side park" because its east facing slope catches the morning sun.

The neighborhood that developed around the park became Morningside Heights.


Morninside Park is located on a long a rocky ledge extending from 110th to 123rd streets and between Morningside Drive and Manhattan Avenues and Morningside Avene is comprised of approximately 30 acres that were excluded from the street grid under a proposal

Built on a steep incline, multiple playgrounds nestle at the bottom of its cliff-like hillside, and visitors pause along its heights to take in a unique view. Winding paths bordered with flowers and trees lead to a cascading waterfall, across from which local teams play on its baseball fields. Parents bring their children to play in its playgrounds and learn in its after-school program, and on Saturdays local farmers sell their goods in an outdoor market.

For many years, the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, tried to get people to call the area Cathedral Heights, but was unsuccessful. The Cathedral, built before the impact of skyscrapers was intended to tower over the city. It does not, but West 110th Street is called Cathedral Parkway.


Morningside Heights is currently home to about 35,000 people, and over the years has housed a long list of famous individuals, intellectuals and students, charming bookstores, cafes and bars as well as world-renowned institutions, including: 
  • Columbia University            
  • Grant's Tomb
  • Barnard College
  • Union Theological Seminary                                                                            
  • Jewish Theological Seminary                 
  • Bank St. College of Education
  • Manhattan School of Music
  • Cathedral of Saint John the Divine
  • Riverside Church

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