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The Upper West Side: An Early, Gorgeous New York City Suburb

By Manhattan Unlocked Historical and Architectural Wa
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  • See one of the most beautiful housing districts in New York

  • Learn a concise, comprehensive history of architecture

  • Step back in time with striking images of a farmland past

  • Learn all the intriguing ways the west side is different

  • Learn the wealthy residential history around Central Park

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October 2020
















About this activity

What's included, what's not

  • What's included

    A guided walking tour of the Upper West Side with an English guide

  • What's excluded

    Any snacks or food along the way

Know Before You Book

  • A minimum of two guests is required for the tour to operate, tickets are refunded in full if minimums are not met.

What you can expect

The Upper West Side developed very differently from the East Side, mainly due to geography, and the ever-increasing uphill slope to the high windswept plateau of Morningside Heights, The west side got no “through traffic”, why would you go up a big hill just to go down a hill again in the age of horse drawn conveyances. The east side had a railroad from very early on.

The Upper West Side was farm-based villages, genteel country estates and the occasional charitable institution. And what we call Broadway today in this part of town was the Bloomingdale Road, a relatively quiet path through the forest. Transit would bring development, and here the homes would take a turn from the typical New York City brownstone. Springing up along side street blocks west of Central Park were luscious Queen Anne, Romanesque, Georgian and Beaux Arts homes. Along the Avenues were Gilded Age apartment-hotels, French Flats and mansion apartments.

It was in the 1890s that the Avenues were given names: Central Park West, Columbus, Amsterdam, Broadway, West End and Riverside. Each developed to the beat of its own drum, and we'll walk them all in part along the tour.

The Upper West Side can feel like a sleepy early New York City suburb, but it harbors priceless gems and jewels of fairy tale homes.


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Activity Location

  • New York New York

Meeting/Redemption Point

  • Richard Tucker Park
  • 134 Columbus Avenue
  • New York New York 10023
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