Northern Manhattan attractions
American Academy of Arts and Letters
633 West 155th Street, New York, NY 10032. Tel: 212-368-5900. Fax: 212-491-4645. Founded in 1898 to cater to the interest of Washington Heights residents in music, literature, and other arts, the academy hosts exhibitions of art and manuscripts as well as readings and performances of new musicals. In addition, it serves as an intermediary for the purchase and donation of paintings to museums across the country.
Chamber of Commerce of Washington Heights and Inwood
751 West 183rd Street, New York, NY 10033. Tel: 212-928-6595. Fax: 212-928-4177. Works to promote economic development and community growth in Northern Manhattan. They advocate for an attractive environment, participate in community collaborations, conduct events and forums where noteworthy speakers discuss relevant topics, and facilitate communication between the business community, government agencies, and elected officials. Presently they are developing a tourist guide for Washington Heights and Inwood, since most of the available guides barely mention our communities or get it wrong.
Children’s Museum of the Native American
Church of the Intercession, 550 West 155th Street, New York, NY 10032. Tel: 212-283-1122. Children can enter a teepee, sit in a dugout canoe, touch artifacts, play Indian games, and actively participate in learning about the life and culture of the Native Americans. Activities include an artifact demonstration, where volunteers from the audience help demonstrate how the American Indians built their shelters, made clothing, hunted, cultivated crops, used tools, cared for infants, and participated in ceremonies.
Fort Tryon Park (Margaret Corbin Drive), New York, NY 10040. Tel: 212-923-3700. Fax: 212-795-3640. Located on four acres in Fort Tryon Park, overlooking the Hudson River, the building incorporates elements from five medieval French cloisters and from other monastic sites in southern France. The Cloisters is a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art that boasts a splendid collection of medieval artifacts, paintings and architecture.
Dyckman Farmhouse Museum
4881 Broadway (at 204th Street), New York, NY 10034. Tel: 212-304-9422. Fax: 212-304-0635. The Dyckman Farmhouse is Manhattan’s last Dutch-colonial farmhouse. During the 19th Century, it was used to produce fruits and vegetables for the NYC market. The house features a collection of Revolutionary War artifacts.
Between West 178th and 179th streets. One of the most beautiful bridges in the world, the GWB boasts gorgeous views of the Hudson River, the Palisades and Manhattan. It was built starting in 1927 and was inaugurated in 1931. It has the 13th longest main suspension span in the world and carries approximately 300,000 vehicles per day, making the 14-lane span one of the busiest in the world. It has a bicycle and pedestrian walkway on the southern side of the upper roadway — which is accessible from West 178th Street and Cabrini Boulevard via a path that leads to the bridge — and a pedestrian-only walkway on the northern side, accessible from 179th Street. The GWB was designated a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1981, on the occasion of the bridge’s 50th anniversary.
Hispanic Society of America
613 West 155th Street, New York, NY 10032. Tel: 212-926-2234. Fax: 212-690-0743.
Founded in 1904, the HSA is dedicated to the art and culture of Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula. In addition to permanent collection displays that include paintings by El Greco, Velásquez, Goya and Sorilla, the museum offers many exhibitions and lectures on a variety of topics.
Little Red Lighthouse
Fort Washington Park, West 178th Street at the Hudson River. Directions: From Lafayette Place at W 181st Street, take steps, footpath and footbridge over the highway, down to the park and south to the lighthouse. Tel: 212-304-2365. The Jeffreys Hook Lighthouse served as a navigational aid before and after the George Washington Bridge was built. But it was deactivated in 1947 and was scheduled to be dismantled. Hildegard Swift’s children’s book, The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Grey Bridge, popularized the lighthouse, and the millions of children who loved the lighthouse spoke out, saving it from destruction. Today, the Urban Park Rangers conduct tours of the light. In the fall, a Little Red Lighthouse Festival features tours of the light, food, photo displays and a reading of the famous story.
65 Jumel Terrace (Edgecombe Avenue at 160th Street), New York, NY 10032. Tel: 212-923-8008. Fax: 212-923-8947
Built in 1765, Morris-Jumel Mansion is the oldest house in Manhattan and is a museum highlighting 232 years of New York history, culture, and arts. Twelve-period rooms exhibit the life and times of Colonel Roger Morris, the original builder, George Washington, who occupied the house, and the merchant family of Stephen and Eliza Jumel. The Morris-Jumel has a colorful calendar of events throughout the year including a classical music series, a jazz festival and children’s arts workshops. MJM is looking for volunteers.
National Track and Field Hall of Fame
The Armory, 216 Fort Washington Avenue (at 168th Street), New York, NY 10032. Tel: 212-923-1803. Fax: 212-923-1645
The National Track & Field Hall of Fame is the only sports museum in New York City, consisting of 15,000 square feet of interactive exhibits, archival displays and rare artifacts. The Hall of Fame is dedicated to the spirit of achievement exemplified by the great American heroes of track and field.
Northern Manhattan Places of Interest
Nell Dillon-Ermers’ remarkable guide to Northern Manhattan attractions. She arranges the information in ten-block sections, provides a wealth of historical and architectural details, and includes links to Web sites when available.
St. Frances X. Cabrini Shrine
701 Fort Washington Avenue, New York, NY 10040. Tel: 212-923-3536. Fax: 212-923-1871.
The shrine houses the remains of the first American citizen saint. Also on view are historic photographs and personal belongings of Mother Cabrini. Pilgrimage groups are always welcomed at the Shrine. A basic pilgrimage visit lasts one or two hours and can include a talk on Mother Cabrini and the history of the Shrine, viewing of a video and a prayer service if desired. The Shrine also offers youth or adult retreats and days of prayer. These days would include talks, group work, private and group prayer.
A guide to historical and cultural institutions in Washington Heights and Inwood.