Manhattan Step By Step

If you want to become a real New Yorker, there’s only one rule: You have to believe New York is, has been, and always will be the greatest city on earth. The center of the universe. -Ellen R. Shapiro

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Mishkin’s Pharmacy on W 145th and Amsterdam in Harlem Heights, upper Manhattan

Mishkin’s Drug Store has been a part of the Harlem Community since 1890. It retains most of it’s original “look” by way of sliding wooden ladders to access shelves, a tin ceiling, old hexagonal tiles and an old phone booth. Even though it has gone through the process of becoming an official landmark time and time again the neighborhood denizens and locals recognizes it as such.

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St. Luke’s Episcopal Church was created in 1820 and originally resided in the West Village.  In 1887, after receiving news that Trinity Church was building near by and being bought out for their location, St. Luke’s moved ”far enough north to be sure of peace for at least a good long term of years” to it’s current locations in Hamilton Heights.

In 1889, St. Luke’s held its first uptown service, not in its present church but in the 1802 house of Alexander Hamilton on the next lot up, just north of 141st Street — it had moved the Hamilton house from 143rd Street and Convent Avenue to make way for more row houses. The vestry was struggling for cash and seriously considered building only a basement on the steeply sloping 141st Street site. But in 1891 the architect Robert H. Robertson designed an ambitious new church, which opened the next year. Robertson had become prominent in the 1880’s for his deft, vigorous modeling of the Romanesque style, often in rock-faced brownstone, for church and other designs, including the Young Women’s Christian Association building at 7 East 15th Street. 

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St. Luke’s Episcopal Church on Convent Ave and W 141st Street, Hamilton Heights, upper Manhattan

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, designed by architect Robert H. Robertson, was built in the 1890s. Its classic red brownstone facade and broad porch face Convent Avenue. A side elevation of multiple arcades on 141st Street, which drops steeply to the east, reveals the broad rear facade. The architectural historian Andrew Dolkart calls this perspective “one of the most powerful architectural statements in New York.”

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