Every Building on Fifth

Courtney Callender Playground at West 130th – 131st Streets and Fifth Avenue

This playground honors Courtney Callender (1937-1983), New York City’s first African American Deputy Commissioner of Cultural Affairs and the first African American official in Parks under Commissioner Thomas Hoving and Executive Director Henry J. Stern. He established the Community Relations division, which initiated the policy of including the neighborhoods in park decisions. Callender served as… Continue reading

Just Off Fifth: St. Ambrose Episcopal Church at 15 West 130th Street

St. Ambrose Episcopal Church at 15 West 130th Street is a craggy structure designed by James W. Pirsson in 1873-1875 for the Presbyterian Church of the Puritans.  Grounded in the Romanesque Revival work popularized by the great Boston-based architect Henry Hobson Richardson, it packs a monumental sense of mass into a relatively small structure. Pirsson… Continue reading

JUST OFF FIFTH: Astor Row at 8-62 West 130th Street

Astor Row at 8-62 West 130th Street – a remarkable row house development consisting of 26 double houses kitted out with unique Eastlake “spoolwork” porches and restrained brickwork.  Developed by the Astor Family in the early 1880s and designed by Charles Buek, they feature generous front and side yards – then as now a rarity… Continue reading

2121 Fifth Avenue, PS 133 Fred R Moore

2121 Fifth Avenue, PS 133 Fred R Moore, is a pleasant school design in not-quite-Art Moderne.  Its name commemorates Frederick Randolph Moore (1857-1943) the noted African American writer, newspaper owner and activist, who was a prominent city alderman in the 1920s and one of the initiators of what would later become The Urban League.

2115-2119 Fifth Avenue

2115-2119 Fifth Avenue is the surviving northern portion of the row that originally started at 2105 Fifth Avenue.  It has been cut off from its southern neighbors by the insertion of 2113.   At some point the middle house at 2117 gained a not-entirely unsuccessful rusticated treatment; otherwise the row is in more or less original… Continue reading