Several streets surrounding the Morris-Jumel Mansion comprise a lovely historic district including the block-long Sylvan Terrace. This stone-paved street was originally a private carriage drive connecting the mansion to Saint Nicholas Avenue, an historic thoroughfare between Manhattan Island and the mainland (the Bronx). The double row of 20 wooden houses was built in 1882 and restored in 1980. Approaching Sylvan Terrace up the stairs from Saint Nicholas Avenue between West 160th and 161st Streets, you’ll see the Morris-Jumel Mansion at the end of the block and you might just think you’ve travelled back in time to some quaint village.
While it may seem odd to name a one-block-long street an avenue, its short length (running from West 186th Street to West 187th Street one block west of Cabrini Boulevard) is more than made up for by its magnificent view of the Hudson River, the bridge, and the New Jersey Palisades. Named after Lucius Chittenden, an early 19th-century landowner, the avenue has houses only on the eastern side of the street, leaving an unobstructed view to the west. To further add to the lure of Chittenden is the so-called pumpkin house at #16. This structure is cantilevered over the Henry Hudson Parkway below and affords residents views of the George Washington Bridge, the Palisades to the west, and all the way north to the Tappan Zee Bridge. It’s known as the pumpkin house because when they’re lit at night its western windows resemble a carved jack-o’-lantern.