There are many places throughout New York City and the surrounding area that are named after Henry Hudson including the Hudson River, the Hudson Bay, the Henry Hudson Parkway and the Town of Hudson located in the Hudson Valley in Columbia County. There is also, The Hendrik Hudson, also known as 380 Riverside Drive, a grand building which takes up the entire block between 110th and 111th Street along Riverside Drive. Architectural historian, Andrew Alpern, considered it so important that he featured it on the cover of his book “Luxury Apartment Houses of Manhattan”.
Completed in 1907, when the area was comprised of mostly low rise buildings, the new IRT subway stop located a short block away on 110th (Cathedral Parkway) promised to bring new life to the neighborhood. William L. Rouse of Rouse & Sloan modeled the design after an imaginary grand Tuscan villa, with a two story rusticated limestone base which incorporated large arched windows and projected balconies of stone and terra cotta ornamentation on the top portion of the building. Standing 8 stories high, it was at the time, the biggest private building of the upper drive, even though it was well under the 12 floor legal limit. Originally topped by two large square towers, with open Palladian arches on all 4 side. The towers were connected by a promenade and while the south tower still remains, the walkway and north tower were long ago removed. The interiors and exteriors were elegantly designed with very large floor plans. Amenities included a billiard room, café and barber shop which along with its magnificent views of Riverside Park attracted many new tenants.
After the war, the neighborhood experienced an economic downturn and most of the large apartments were cut up into smaller units. In 1960, after years of neglect, new owners took possession of the building that had earned the nickname “Slum with a View” and invested close to a million dollars in renovations. Now considered one of the crown jewels of Morningside Heights, the building was converted to a coop in 1970. If Henry Hudson were around today, he would be proud to know this majestic building with its architectural symmetry, grand marble lobby and lovely apartments with exceptionally high ceilings was named after him.
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