Welcome to Historic Bloomingdale

A culturally diverse and artistically rich area, home to small, independent businesses, diverse immigrant communities, and residents who have contributed to New York City’s vibrant life.

 


Bloomingdale is the historic neighborhood from 96th to 110th Street between Central Park and Riverside Drive. In the 1600s, the Dutch named the area “Bloemendaal,” meaning “vale or valley of flowers,” after a town of the same name in the tulip-growing region of Holland. Over its 300-year history, the Anglicanized name, Bloomingdale, has been attached to Bloomingdale Road (1703-1868), the Bloomingdale Asylum for the Insane, and still in use, the Bloomingdale School of Music, the Bloomingdale branch of the New York Public Library, and the Bloomingdale Public School.

Bloomingdale is a proud part of the Upper West side but with a more local feel. Its rich mosaic of cultures, people, and buildings, and its street-level charm distinguish Bloomingdale from its surrounding neighborhoods. The neighborhood includes the Manhattan Valley area east of Amsterdam between 100th and 110th Street, named and created during the late 1950s urban renewal. The name serves as a reminder of the rich history reflected in the structures around us that continue to serve us and enrich our community.

Anshe Chesed Synagogue
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West End Avenue and 100th Street

Dating back to its 1829 foundation, Ansche Chesed inhabited five different buildings around Manhattan before settling in the Bloomingdale neighborhood. In 1927, the congregation laid the cornerstone for its present day home on West End Avenue and 100th Street. Designed by architect Edward I. Shire in a synthesis of Romanesque and Byzantine styles, one publication called it “the finest temple thus far built in the city” upon its completion.

For more info about Ansche Chesed Synagague, visit their website.
251 West 100th Street, New York, NY 10025

Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine
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Amsterdam Avenue between 110th and 113th Street

The Cathedral of St. John the Divine is the largest cathedral in the world built stone-to-stone without steel beams. Its cornerstone was laid in 1892, but the building is still unfinished. On the south side, a neoclassical building from the Leake and Watts Orphan Asylum is incorporated into the cathedral. The surrounding grounds, called The Close, are also open to the public and home to roaming peacocks, whose cries often compete with the Amsterdam Avenue traffic. The Cathedral has been host to international speakers and events in addition to art exhibitions and musical performances.

For more info about Cathedral of St. John the Divine, visit their website.
1047 Amsterdam Avenue at 112th Street, New York, NY 10025

Church of the Ascension
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107th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue

The Church of the Ascension Parish was established in 1895 to serve the developing Bloomingdale area. Designed by Schickel & Ditmars, the Romanesque Revival building features a light-colored rough stone facade with limestone trim. The triple portal entrance is surmounted by a rose window and four small turrets. Inside, the Italianate nave has a decorated ceiling, wheel windows at the clerestory level, and tall side aisles with faux-marble columns. Above the white marble high altar is a richly-colored stained glass window depicting the Ascension of Christ.

For more info about Church of the Ascension, visit their website.
221 West 107th Street, New York, NY 10025

Church of the Holy Name of Jesus
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Amsterdam Avenue and 96th Street

Church of the Holy Name traces its history back to the Bloomingdale Catholic Association, organized in the 1860s in order to found a Catholic church in the Village of Bloomingdale. The church has been located at the same site since 1868, and the present-day building was completed in 1900 after Amsterdam Avenue was constructed, leveling existing hills and valleys. The Gothic structure is built of carved pink Milford granite with Munich stained glass windows and a “wooden arched ceiling.”

For more info about Church of the Holy Name of Jesus, visit their website.
207 West 96th Street, New York, NY 10025

East River Savings Bank
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Amsterdam Avenue and 96th Street

The East River Savings Bank, designed by Walker & Gillette, demonstrates the typical monumental style of bank architecture in the early 20th century. The building includes an Ionic portico of five immense columns facing the avenue and an imposing colonnade along West 96th Street. Although the branch opened in 1927, the facade also features the date, 1848, signifying the year of the East River Savings Institution’s foundation. The parapet displays carved quotations from Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln. The building was sold in 1998 and has been converted for commercial use.

Firemen's Memorial

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Riverside Drive and 100th Street

The Firemen’s Memorial, erected in 1913, is one of the most impressive monuments along Riverside Drive. Isidor Straus, a local resident and the namesake of Straus Park, served as chairman of the memorial committee that raised the funds for the statue. Although originally intended for the north end of Union Square, the monument was ultimately built on the hillside facing the Hudson River at 100th Street. The memorial honors the firemen of New York City and became a vigil site and shrine for those lost in the September 11 terrorist attacks.

For more info about Firemen’s Memorial, go to this website.

Former Metro Theater
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Broadway between 99th and 100th Street

This landmarked Art Deco movie theater was built in 1933. The Metro began as a first run theater, then switched to sub-run foreign and independent films, and even screened adult films during the 1970s and 1980s. It is one of the few remaining theaters of many that once populated the area and served as social gathering places for the community.

Frederick Douglass Circle
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Central Park West and 110th Street

Located at the northwest corner of Central Park, Frederick Douglass Circle is considered the “Gateway to Harlem” from Bloomingdale and was completed in 2010. The traffic circle features a statue of American abolitionist and author, Frederick Douglass, as well as a complex colored paving pattern that alludes to traditional African American quilt designs.

Historic New York Cancer Hospital
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Central Park West between 105th and 106th Street

Designed by Charles C. Haight in 1887, the New York Cancer Hospital was the first institution devoted solely to treating the scary and little understood disease. It was at the forefront of cancer treatment in its day and developed innovative patient treatments. The hospital housed wards in the castle-like towers as well as the world’s largest supply of radium and a crematorium in the basement. Known to many as “the castle,” some believe it to be haunted. Today, the building has been refurbished for residential use and is simply referred to as 455 Central Park West.

Hostelling International
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Amsterdam Avenue between 103rd and 104th Street

The largest youth hostel in North America, Hostelling International NY occupies a beautiful building on Amsterdam Ave, which is on the National Register of Historic Places and a designated New York City Landmark. Built for the Association Residence for Respectable Aged and Indigent Females in 1881, the building was designed by architect Richard Morris Hunt, who also designed the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty and the facade and Great Hall of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Today, the hostel is a neighborhood institution that hosts many community meetings, history talks, and concerts in addition to bringing thousands of visitors to the Bloomingdale area.

For more info about Hostelling International NYC, go to this website.

P.S. 165
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West 109th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue

P.S. 165, officially named after Robert E. Simon, was designed by C.B.J. Snyder in 1898, famous for his influential designs of over 170 New York City schools. As the city’s educational system expanded and an influx of immigrants arrived in the late 19th century, health and safety in school architecture became growing concerns. Snyder’s innovative arrangement of classrooms around courtyards and steel-frame construction allowed for enormous windows, creating light- and air-filled learning environments.

St. Michael's Episcopal Church
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Amsterdam Avenue and 99th Street

Saint Michael’s Church was established in this rural spot on the Bloomingdale Road in 1807, before the city’s grid was laid out in the Commissioner’s Plan of 1811. The present building, designed by Robert W. Gibson, was dedicated in 1891. It is noted for its Romanesque and Byzantine style and its bright and colorful Tiffany stained glass windows. The Bloomingdale Branch of the New York Free Circulating Library, located behind the church, pre-dates the New York Public Library and has been preserved by the Ukrainian Academy of Arts & Sciences.

For more info about Church of the Holy Name of Jesus, visit their website.
225 West 99th Street, New York, NY 10025

Straus Park
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Broadway between 106th and 107th Street

Originally named Bloomingdale Square, Straus Park took its current name from Isidor Straus and his wife Ida, who died on April 15, 1912 when the S.S. Titanic sank on its maiden voyage from England to America. Straus was a U.S. Congressman and co-owner of Macy’s who lived at 2747 Broadway, between 105th and 106th St. The Memory Statue in the park includes a Biblical inscription that pays tribute to Ida’s decision to remain aboard with her husband rather than save herself by boarding a lifeboat with the women and children.

The Manhasset
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Broadway and 108th Street

Built in 1899, this grand middle-class apartment building is one of the earliest of its kind in the neighborhood and boasts a distinctive mansard roof. The 1904 opening of the “IRT” subway (now known as the #1, 2, and 3 lines) spurred the construction of many more such buildings, especially along Broadway, West End Avenue, and Riverside Drive.

Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church of Manhattan
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Amsterdam Avenue and 100th Street

Founded in the late 19th century by German immigrants, Trinity Lutheran Church worshipped in both German and English for almost seventy years. The church features a French transitional gothic style sanctuary with soaring arches, marvelous acoustics, and a newly-restored pipe organ. In the 1950’s, Trinity was the only building within 32 acres to survive the urban renewal process. Today, the church is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

For more info about Church of the Holy Name of Jesus, visit their website.
3 West 65th Street, New York, NY 10023

West End Presbyterian Church

Amsterdam Avenue and 105th Street

As the Bloomingdale area expanded after the New York Elevated Railroad began to carry passengers along Ninth Avenue (now Columbus Avenue), Reverend John Balcom Shaw saw a need for a new church in the neighborhood. West End Presbyterian Church was then founded in 1888, and the current building’s cornerstone was laid in 1891. Designed by noted architect Henry S. Kilburn, the church boasts a tall and exquisitely detailed Romanesque Revival spire and a yellow brick and terra-cotta facade. Since its foundation, West End has had a close connection to social services and has been affiliated with a number of orphanages.

For more info about Church of the Holy Name of Jesus, visit their website.
165 West 105th Street, New York, NY 10025