We previously rounded up 8 beautiful historic districts in Manhattan that were smaller than a block and we decided it was time to look at all of New York City. All the boroughs except Staten Island have historic districts smaller than a city block, as defined by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. We’ll go in order, from the smallest number of houses in the district.

1. Hardenbergh/Rhindelander Historic District, Upper East Side, Manhattan

Hardenbergh Rhinelander Historic District-Upper East Side-89th Street-Lexington

This little historic district is really just a corner at the northwest corner of 89th Street and Lexington Avenue. In addition to this set of 6 buildings along Lexington Avenue, the district includes one narrow townhouse at 121 E. 89th Street. According to Ephemeral New York, Henry Hardenbergh, who designed the homes, “also designed the Dakota and the original Waldorf-Astoria on 34th Street.”


Tom Otterness-Roosevelt Island-Marriage of Real Estate and Monday-East River-NYC

While the popular destination on Roosevelt Island these days include FDR Four Freedoms Park and the abandoned smallpox hospital, if you head in the opposite direction you may happen upon some quirky sculptures by Tom Otterness. But you’d have to look over the water’s edge, as the sculptures come out of the water! Installed in 1996 and titled “The Marriage of Real Estate and Money,” the sculptures make a statement situated between the dueling residential developments on both Roosevelt Island and Midtown East.


redoubt (fort) in Fort Washington Park

Boundless Brooklyn Water Tower Craft-NYCBoundless Brooklyn DIY water tower, customized by The Drif

While it might be a dream of many to have their own water tower on a New York rooftop, Boundless Brooklyn has fun customize-your-own mini water towers through 100% recyclable kits you can get online. They’re lasercut in Brooklyn from chipboard and can be painted using acrylics. At the Brooklyn Museum last Thursday and at several upcoming events, street artists are teaching us average citizens how to tag our own water towers. Also available: the famous Kentile Floors sign, modeled after the one in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Broundless Brooklyn. Boundless Brooklyn was started by two graduates of NYU’s ITP program who seem to love water towers just as much, if not more, than we do.


Bathtub Gin-Chelsea-Speakeasy-NYCImage via Bathtub Gin

On Sunday, October 19th we’ll be hosting a cocktail at the hidden speakeasy Bathtub Gin, located in the neighborhood that was once the Tenderloin in New York City’s west 20s. The Tenderloin was home to New York City’s brothels, dance clubs, and gambling houses. On this special event, historian David Freeland will first take us through a tour of the fascinating remains of the Tenderloin district and Tin Pan Alley, concluding with a cocktail at this period-inspired bar.


Untapped Cities is all about experiencing everything that New York City has to offer. This week, we are excited for pizza, farmers markets, and so much more!

Monday, Oct 6

Six to Celebrate is an initiative of the Historic Districts Council, an organization that works to preserve New York City’s historic neighborhoods and buildings. Six neighborhoods are chosen and receive preservation help and guidance from the HDC. One of the sites selected is Park Avenue, Manhattan. Join in at 6 pm tomorrow for a guided tour of the area led by urban historian Justin Ferate. We attended one of the HDC tours last year of the Bowery and of Pomander Walk, and had a great time. For more information on Monday’s tour, click this link.