Gramercy is widely considered to be one of the quietest and safest areas in Manhattan. East 19th Street between Third Avenue and Irving has been called "Block Beautiful" for its wide array of architecture and pristine aesthetic. Townhouses with generous backyards and smaller apartments alike coincide in a collage of architecture in Gramercy Park. The largest private house in the neighborhood, a 42-room mansion on Gramercy Park South, broke records when it last sold in the 1990's. The quiet streets perpendicular to Irving Place have maintained their status as fashionable residential blocks reminiscent of London's West End. In 1912, a multiple dwelling planned specifically for bachelors appeared at 52 Irving Place. This handsome Colonial Revival style structure with suites of rooms that lacked kitchen facilities was one of a small group of New York apartment houses planned for single men in the early years of the 20th century. In addition to being the birthplace of Theodore Roosevelt (East, 20th Street) Gramercy is and has been home to many famous residents, including: Vincent Astor, Julia Roberts, Thomas Edison, James Cagney, Gregory Peck, John Barrymore, John Steinbeck, Chelsea Clinton, Karl Lagerfeld, Uma Thurman, Peter Cooper, Oscar Wilde, Kate Hudson, Jimmy Fallon, Amanda Peet, Winona Ryder, and Ann Curry. The neighborhood has also been a focal point of many famous works of literature, film, and music throughout history.
Gramercy Park, a small fenced-in private park, is one of the most famous private parks in the country. The approximately 2 acre park, located in the Gramercy Park Historic District, is available only to people residing around the park who pay hefty annual fee to have a key, Although the public is not generally allowed in, the sidewalks of the streets around the park are a popular jogging, strolling and dog-walking route. Calling it "a Victorian gentleman who has refused to die", Charlotte Devree in the New York Times said that "There is nothing else quite like Gramercy Park in the country." When the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission created the Gramercy Park Historic District in 1966, they quoted from John B. Pine's 1921 book, The Story of Gramercy Park: "The laying out of Gramercy Park represents one of the earliest attempts in this country at 'City Planning'. ... As a park given to the prospective owners of the land surrounding it and held in trust for those who made their homes around it, Gramercy Park is unique in this City, and perhaps in this country, and represents the only neighborhood, with possibly one exception, which has remained comparatively unchanged for eighty years — the Park is one of the City's Landmarks."
Gramercy Park Hotel & Irving Place
Gramercy Park Hotel The Gramercy Park Hotel was originally designed by Robert T. Lyons and built by Bing & Bing in 1925, replacing a row of townhouses. It was managed for many years by hotelier Herbert Weissberg, and in 2006 underwent a massive makeover by Ian Schrager, who in 2010 sold his interests and is no longer associated with the hotel. Interiors were designed by artist and filmmaker Julian Schnabel. The Hotel has views of Gramercy Park, and guests have access to the hotel's 12 keys to the park during their stay. Dining venues include the Rose Bar and Jade Bar, and rooftop Gramercy Terrace restaurant; Danny Meyer's Maialino is also in the Hotel. The Hotel was the subject of a 2008 documentary film, Hotel Gramercy Park. Irving Place An assortment of restaurants, bars, and establishments line Irving Place, the main thoroughfare of the neighborhood south of the park. Pete's Tavern, New York's oldest surviving saloon and where O. Henry wrote The Gift of the Magi, survived Prohibition disguised as a flower shop. Irving Plaza, at East 15th Street and Irving, hosts numerous concerts for both well-known and indie bands and draws a crowd almost every night. There are also a number of clinics and official city buildings on Irving Place.
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Updated: 22nd January, 2019 3:19 PM.