NEIGHBORHOOD GUIDE

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Gramercy Park

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Named after the gorgeous private park at its heart, Gramercy is one of the most pristine and authentically charming neighborhoods in all of Manhattan. Despite its proximity to the tremendous bustle of the adjoining areas of Union Square and Flatiron, residents of this sleepy haven easily forget they are in a metropolis at all. Featuring some of the most city’s most jaw-dropping townhouses and pre-war monuments including the Gramercy Park Hotel, as well as some of its most celebrated restaurants and bars, Gramercy is overloaded with both charm and convenience.


Landscape

Bounded by 14th Street to the south, 23rd Street to the north, First Avenue to the east, and Park Avenue South to the west, Gramercy is situated right next to the vibrant nightlife of downtown and just a stone’s throw from the hustle and bustle of Flatiron and Midtown. The delightful array of low-rise and mid-rise prewar architecture is partially due to the early designation of Gramercy Park as a historic district in 1966, and party due to the fact that due to zoning laws related to the depth of bedrock on this part of the island, buildings beyond 20 stories cannot be built. As a result, the neighborhood is most easily characterized by its stunning brownstones, carriage houses, and private gardens. Known as “Block Beautiful,” East 19th Street between Irving Place and Third Avenue features a dazzling array of classic architectural styles, and a further stroll along Irving Place will convince any naysayers of the undeniable beauty of this diamond in the rough. Its namesake park sits right in the middle of the neighborhood, and is only accessible to residents of buildings on the park itself, except on Christmas Eve when it is open to the public. Residents enjoy easy access to all trains running through Union Square, including the 4, 5, 6, L, N, Q, and R trains.


History

Once in the middle of a swamp, Gramercy Park began as a twinkle in the eye of a developer named Samuel B. Ruggles, who bought a property called Gramercy Farm in 1831 from a descendant of Peter Stuyvesant. He then transformed the swamp into a private park and sold partial stakes in it to the owners of the 60 parcels of land he had plotted around it. A seat of much political unrest and rioting throughout the 19th century, the dust eventually settled in the 20th century, and by the mid-1900s Gramercy solidified its reputation as one of the most valuable and desirable residential areas of Manhattan, a reputation which continues to endure today.