2. The Apthorp Mansion
Image via NYPL, c. 1891
Charles Ward Apthorp, member of the Governor’s Council during the American Revolution, built The Apthorp Mansion just west of what is now 91st and Columbus Avenue on an 168-acre property. Known as Elmwood, the grand home overlooked the Hudson River and the New Jersey Palisades. The mansion was taken over by both American soldiers and leaders, as well as the British, in different periods of the Revolution. Apthrop was charged with high treason after the war, but was released and allowed to keep the property.
After Apthorp’s death in 1797, the property became exceedingly contested by its new owner and Apthorp’s children, and in the meantime was left to decay. In the 1850s and 1870s, the 68th Regiment used it as a parade ground and by 1890, it became a picnic ground, with the house turned into a beer and dance saloon. In 1870, it was also the site of the Orangeman riots. It was slated for demolition in 1891, with The New York Times noting that “An old house is like an old citizen, in that it deserves an ‘obituary.'”
3. Dr. Valentine Mott Mansion
Still amazing that this mansion at 93rd Street was actually built as a summer home. It was the country abode of Dr. Valentine Mott, a celebrated surgeon whose principal place of residence was at 1 Gramercy Park. This home if standing today, would be right in the middle of Broadway.