22. Paul Robeson Residence (1916)

555 Edgecombe Avenue Paul Robeson Residence

The Paul Robeson Residence, formally called 555 Edgecombe Avenue, is one of only a handful of National Historic Landmarks in New York City that commemorates African-American culture. Located in Washington Heights, the skyscraper was originally known as the “Roger Morris” after opening in 1916 in reference to its namesake British Army officer. However, like Hotel Theresa, the building originally started off as restricted only to white tenants, yet this policy would be dropped by the 1940s.

Soon after the neighborhood became predominantly Black, noted African-Americans like musicians Count Basie, Andy Kirk, and Bruce Langhorne moved into the building. Other notable residents include boxer Joe Louis and psychologist Kenneth Clark, who performed the Clark doll experiment with his wife Mamie that was used in Brown v. Board of Education. The building was renamed after resident Paul Robeson, a bass baritone singer and actor who was famously sympathetic towards the Soviet Union and Communism.