130th Street between Lenox Avenue and Fifth Avenue in Harlem is most commonly referred to as Astor Row. The land was purchased by John Jacob Astor in 1844 and its historic semi-attached row houses were eventually constructed by Astor’s grandson, William, starting in 1880.
After completion in 1883 (and just a year after Astor’s own death in 1882), the houses were divided out to the grandchildren, and remained in the family for several years until 1911, in which they began to be rented out.
Over time, the houses slowly deteriorated. In response, many restoration groups and banks began taking the necessary steps to restore Astor Row. Today, most of the street’s buildings have been completely restored thanks to many generous patrons.
Strivers’ Row, or also known as the St. Nicholas Historic District, is a district along both sides of West 138th Street and West 139th Street between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard and Frederick Douglass Boulevard. The row houses and buildings were built by developer David H. King Jr. between the years 1891 and 1893.
The historical district is divided into three different sets of buildings: The red brick and brownstone buildings on the south side of West 138th Street, the yellow brick and white limestone buildings with terra cotta trim on the north side of West 138th Street and the south side of West 139th Street, and finally the dark brick and brownstone buildings on the north side of West 139th Street.
Strivers’ Row has been home to notable residents such as Bill “Bojangles” Robinson and heavyweight boxer, Harry Wills. The U.S. Historic District is also listed as a New York City Landmark and on the U.S. National Register of Historical Places.