Please note — In response to concerns about coronavirus, the Municipal Art Society has made the difficult decision to cancel this tour.
Columbia Community Scholar Eric K. Washington created the first comprehensive Manhattanville tour, based on his research for New York City’s 1998 landmarking of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church-Manhattanville. Established in 1806, this ancient pre-“West Harlem” neighborhood is in continuous flux. Though Columbia’s campus expansion is conspicuously under way, evidence remains of a historic town that is much greater than the sum of the university’s development parcel. Discover why this once crucial 19th-century town of Manhattanville became “a place of considerable consequence.” Also see where the struggle between institutional might and community spirit is forging some vibrant new neighborhood features that make this a neighborhood worth exploring afresh. Join Eric, independent historian and a winner of the Municipal Art Society’s 2010 MASterworks Award (for his interpretive signage in West Harlem Piers Park) and author of the book that sets this tour’s theme, “Manhattanville: Old Heart of West Harlem.”