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Manhattanville is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Manhattan bordered on the south by Morningside Heights on the west by the Hudson River, on the east by Harlem and on the north by Hamilton Heights. Its borders straddle both sides of West 125th Street, roughly from 122nd Street to 135th Street and from the Hudson River to St. Nicholas Park.
Throughout the 19th century, Manhattanville was a town that bustled around a wharf active with ferry and daily river conveyances. It was the first principal terminus on the northbound Hudson railroad, and the hub of daily stage coach, omnibus and streetcar lines. Situated near the famous Bloomingdale Road, its hotels, houses of entertainment and post office made it an alluring destination of suburban retreat from the city, yet its direct proximity to the Hudson River also made it an invaluable industrial checkpoint by which construction and freight materials could enter upper Manhattan. With the construction of road and railway viaducts over the valley in which the town sat, Manhattanville, increasingly absorbed into the growing city, became a marginalized industrial area.
The neighborhood is now the site of a major planned expansion of Columbia University, which has campuses in Morningside Heights to the south and Washington Heights to the north.
Village of Manhattanville
In 1806, the village of Manhattanville was established in this valley around the crossroads of Bloomingdale Road and Manhattan Street, now roughly Broadway and 125th Street. The village's original streets were laid out by Jacob Schieffelin and other wealthy merchants, mostly Quakers, who had country seats in the area. The town thrived as a result of the development of Manhattan Street from the Hudson River, whose convenient access also became a crucial catalyst in the growth of the older village of Harlem to the southeast on the Harlem River. Situated at approximately the same latitude, Harlem and Manhattanville flourished together throughout the 19th century as the two most prominent villages in upper Manhattan.
Manhattanville's early population was a diverse and eclectic mix of intermarried American patriots and British loyalists; at least one prominent former African slave trader; slave owners and enslaved African-Americans; Quaker anti-slavery activists and free black abolitionists; tradesmen, poor laborers and wealthy industrialists. Many were affiliated with the same institutions, principally the historic New York City landmarked St. Mary's Protestant Episcopal Church, organized in 1823, which was the first Episcopal church to dissolve pew rentals in 1831, and the Manhattanville Free School (established in 1827, later Public School No. 43) still at their original sites. Manhattanville's most prominent resident was industrialist Daniel F. Tiemann (1805-1899), owner of the D.F. Tiemann & Company Color Works, who was also Mayor of New York City from 1858 to 1859.
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