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Inwood, Manhattan, 10034





Inwood is the northernmost neighborhood on Manhattan Island in the New York City borough of Manhattan.




Inwood is physically bounded by the Harlem River to the north and east, and the Hudson River to the west. It extends southward to Fort Tryon Park and alternatively Dyckman Street or Fairview Avenue further south, depending on the source. Inwood is mostly covered by the 10034 postal ZIP code.




Notably, while Inwood is the northernmost neighborhood on the island of Manhattan, it is not the northernmost neighborhood of the entire borough of Manhattan. That distinction is held by Marble Hill, a Manhattan neighborhood situated directly to the north of the island of Manhattan on the North American mainland. It was isolated from the rest of Manhattan only in the 20th century when the route of the Harlem River was altered by the Harlem River Ship Canal.


Because of its northern location, the hilly geography and the interruption of the street grid (Broadway and Fort George Hill are the only local streets that connect to the rest of Manhattan), the neighborhood can feel somewhat detached from the rest of the borough. Inwood is also sometimes mistakenly identified by non-residents as being part of the larger and better-known Washington Heights area to the south, or even confused with being part of The Bronx.


Inwood's main local thoroughfare is Broadway, which is also designated US 9 at this point. Highway access to the area is via the Henry Hudson Parkway to the west, the Harlem River Drive/FDR Drive to the southeast and the Major Deegan Expressway over the Harlem River to the east. Inwood's main commercial shopping streets are Broadway, Dyckman Street and West 207th St.


Inwood marble, a soft, white, metamorphic rock found in northern Manhattan, takes its name after the neighborhood. From the mid-1600s to the late 1700s, commercial quarries dotted the area as the material was used for building construction. However, due to its susceptibility to erosion, builders eventually used alternate construction materials. Inwood marble was quarried for government buildings in lower Manhattan and Washington D.C.. Small pieces of marble can still be seen in the stone retaining walls around Isham Park.


On May 24, 1626, Peter Minuit, the director general of the Dutch colony of New Netherland, bought the island from the Lenape Indians for 60 Dutch guilders and, the story goes, some trinkets. On the southern tip of the island Minuit founded New Amsterdam. A plaque marking what's believed to be the spot of the sale is in Inwood Hill Park, the only natural forest left in Manhattan.




Inwood was a rural section of Manhattan well into the early 20th century. Once the IRT subway reached Inwood in 1906, speculative developers constructed numerous apartment buildings on the east side of Broadway. A subsequent construction boom occurred after 1933 on the west side of Broadway , when the IND subway reached 207th Street along Broadway. Many of Inwood's impressive Art Deco apartment buildings were constructed during this period.


Today, Inwood is a residential neighborhood of primarily five-to-eight story prewar buildings, along with some of the few remaining detached houses on Manhattan island. Buildings are evenly mixed between elevator and walk-ups. Most of Inwood's co-op buildings are located west of Broadway, while rentals dominate on the east side of Broadway. Parks include the very large and old-growth Inwood Hill Park, Fort Tryon Park, and Isham Park along with numerous other green spaces. Institutions include the Allen Pavilion (an annex of New York-Presbyterian Hospital) and several churches and schools. Inwood also includes Dyckman House, the last remaining Dutch colonial-era farmhouse in Manhattan.


Industrial uses, including subway, bus and sanitation depots, exist primarily along Sherman Creek, bordered by the Harlem River, Dyckman Street to the south, Tenth Avenue to the west, and 207th Street to the north. There has been an initiative among politicians over the last few years to re-zone this area for residential and commercial use, and to create public access to the waterfront. Currently, Con Ed and the City of New York own some of the property in this area.


Adjacent to Sherman Creek is Inwood's primary public housing development known as the Dyckman Houses (not to be confused with the Dyckman House museum). This complex was constructed in 1951 and consists of seven 14 story residential buildings on 14 acres. The development also contains a basketball court which is very popular among New York City streetball enthusiasts. Basketball star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar grew up in the complex. Before the construction of this complex, the site contained a stadium called the Dyckman Oval, with a capacity of 4500 spectators, which hosted football games, boxing matches, and Negro League baseball games.


The residents of Inwood were mostly of Irish and Jewish descent for much of the 20th century. The neighborhood exhibited a strong Irish identity with many Irish shops, pubs, and even a Gaelic football field in Inwood Hill Park. However, in the 1970s and 1980s, many Irish moved out of Inwood to the outer boroughs and suburbs. During the same period that Irish were leaving Inwood, there was a dramatic rise in the number of immigrants from the Dominican Republic.


Today, Inwood has a predominantly Dominican population, particularly in the majority of the neighborhood which lies east of Broadway. The combination of less expensive housing, extensive wild parks and access to the water has also attracted a number of artists, students and musicians to the neighborhood.


Inwood appeals to many who seek lower housing costs and, in places, a more serene setting, without actually leaving Manhattan and its subway connections. As evidence of the growing real-estate value of the Inwood brand, listings in Fort George and even Marble Hill will sometimes describe themselves as being in Inwood. Real estate values have risen in recent years as the neighborhood has drawn residents priced out of other parts of Manhattan. Whether this leads to any actual gentrification of Inwood remains to be seen, though the western portion of the neighborhood is certainly (and perhaps always has been) a likely candidate.




Inwood Hill Park, on the Hudson River, is a largely wooded city park that contains caves that were used by the Lenape before Europeans arrived, and the last salt marsh in Manhattan. Birdwatchers come to the park to see waterbirds, raptors, and a wide variety of migratory birds. The wooded section features the last natural forest standing on Manhattan Island.


Inwood Hill Park includes ballfields that are heavily used by local leagues. Tennis courts, playgrounds, a waterfront promenade and extensive hiking trails are also prominent components of the park. The park also includes a nature center and hosts many events organized by the Parks Department.


Other green spaces in Inwood are Isham Park and Columbia University's 23 acre athletic fields along West 218th Street known at the Baker Field Athletics Complex. The football stadium within the complex, known as Lawrence A. Wien Stadium, can accommodate 17,000 fans and was noted by Sports Illustrated as "one of the most beautiful places in the country to watch a football game" due to the scenic views of the Henry Hudson Bridge and the New Jersey Palisades from the home stands.


Parts of Fort Tryon Park and Highbridge Park lie along Inwood's southern border. The Lt. William Tighe Triangle, aka the Riverside-Inwood Neighborhood Garden (RING) is the northernmost piece of Ft. Tryon Park, at the confluence of Riverside Drive, Dyckman St., Broadway and Seaman Avenue. RING Garden This is Inwood's oldest community garden, having been founded in 1984. It has numerous artistic, musical and environmental events, has solar energy and composting installations, and is an all-volunteer botanical garden.


Area schools include:




Most visitors get their first glimpse of the neighborhood when visiting the area's best known cultural attraction, The Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park. This branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art is devoted to Medieval art and culture, and is located in a medieval-style building, portions of which were purchased in Europe, brought to the United States, and reassembled. Whether the museum itself is actually located in Inwood depends on one's definition of the neighborhood boundaries but its tower dominates the skyline of the area and the museum can be easily accessed via steep pathways leading from Dyckman Street.


From Inwood Hill Park, one can view a 100-foot-tall Columbia "C" painted on the face of a rock outcropping across the Harlem River on the Bronx shore. It is a local challenge to swim to "C-Rock" and back to the Manhattan shore. Columbia's athletic facilities are directly opposite the C. Some residents regard the "C" as an eyesore; spoiling the natural aesthetic of the sheer stone cliff face. The authority by which Columbia periodically repaints the "C" is unclear and may be subject to legal challenge.


Looking west from Inwood Hill Park across the Hudson River, one can view the New Jersey Palisades. Looking east from Inwood, the former NYU campus in University Heights, Bronx, now Bronx Community College, towers above the east end of the 207th Street Bridge.


The local hospital in Inwood is the Allen Pavilion, a satellite facility of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.


The oldest building in Inwood is the Dyckman House, the oldest farmhouse in Manhattan, on Broadway at 204th Street.


A farmers' market takes place on Isham St on Saturdays, year-round.


Bridges spanning Spuyten Duyvil Creek include the Henry Hudson Bridge, the longest fixed arch bridge in the world when built in 1936, and the Spuyten Duyvil Bridge, a railroad swing bridge reconstructed numerous times since originally opening in 1849. Road bridges are the Broadway Bridge and the University Heights Bridge, both important local structures.


The Seaman-Drake Arch, located on Broadway near 216th Street, is one of only two free-standing arches in New York City. It was built in 1855 of local Inwood marble.




Notable current and former residents of Inwood include:


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The Chrysler Building



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