Gramercy Park

Gramercy Park Area Picture Maps Interactive 360 Street View.


View Larger Map

Gramercy Park, East 14th Street-23rd Street and 1st Avenue to Park Avenue South.
Gramercy Park, often misspelled as Grammercy, is a small, fenced-in private park in the borough of Manhattan in New York City, United States. The park is at the core of both the neighborhood referred to as either Gramercy or Gramercy Park and the Gramercy Park Historic District. The approximately 2 acre park is one of only two private parks in New York City; only people residing around the park who pay an annual fee have a key, and the public is not generally allowed in although the sidewalks of the streets around the park are a popular jogging, strolling and dog-walking route. The neighborhood around Gramercy Park, which is seperated between New York City's Manhattan Community Board 5 and Manhattan Community Board 6, is generally perceived to be a quiet and safe area. The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission created the Gramercy Park Historic District in 1966, they quoted from John B. Pine's 1921 book, The Story of Gramercy Park: Calling it "a Victorian gentleman who has refused to die", Charlotte Devree in the New York Times said that "There is nothing else quite like Gramercy Park in the country."

The Gramercy Park laying out represents one of the earliest attempts in this country at 'City Planning'. As a park given to the prospective owners of the land surrounding it and held in trust for those who made their homes around it, Gramercy Park is unique in NYC, perhaps in this country, and represents the only neighborhood, with possibly one exception, which has remained comparatively unchanged for eighty years. Gramercy Park is one of the City's Landmarks.

The neighborhood
While real estate in Manhattan is rarely stable, the apartments in the neighborhood around Gramercy Park have experienced little turmoil. Whether the neigborhood is called "Gramercy Park" or "Gramercy", it is generally considered to be a quiet and safe area. East 19th Street between Third Avenue and Irving is labeled "Block Beautiful" for its wide array of architecture and pristine aesthetic. Townhouses with generous backyards and smaller apartments alike coincide in a collage of architecture in Gramercy Park. The largest private house in the neighborhood, a 42-room mansion on Gramercy Park South, sold for $7 million in 1993.

The Gramercy Park neighborhood is located in the part of Manhattan where the bedrock Manhattan schist is located deeper underground that it is above 29th Street and below Canal Street, and as a result, and under the influence of zoning laws, the tallest buildings in the area top out at around 20 stories, and older buildings of 3-6 floors are numerous, especially on the side streets, but even on the avenues.

The quiet streets perpendicular to Irving Place have maintained their status as fashionable residential blocks reminiscent of London's West End. In 1912, a multiple dwelling planned specifically for bachelors appeared at 52 Irving Place. This handsome Colonial Revival style structure with suites of rooms that lacked kitchen facilities was one of a small group of New York apartment houses planned for single men in the early years of the 20th century.

Irving Place
An assortment of restaurants, bars, and establishments line Irving Place, the main thoroughfare of the neighborhood south of the park. Pete's Tavern, New York's oldest surviving saloon and where O. Henry wrote The Gift of the Magi, survived Prohibition disguised as a flower shop. Irving Plaza, on East 15th Street and Irving, hosts numerous concerts for both well-known and indie bands and draws a crowd almost every night. There are also a number of clinics and official city buildings on Irving Place

Gramercy Park Hotel
The Gramercy Park Hotel was originally designed by Robert T. Lyons and built by Bing & Bing in 1925, replacing a row of townhouses. In 2006, the hotel underwent a massive makeover by hotelier Ian Schrager in association with the artist Julian Schnabel. The hotel has views of Gramercy Park, and guests have access to the hotel's 12 keys to the park during their stay. The hotel was the subject of a 2008 documentary film, Hotel Gramercy Park.

Gramercy Park is located between East 20th Street, called Gramercy Park South at the park, and East 21st Street (Gramercy Park North) and between Gramercy Park West and Gramercy Park East, two mid-block streets which lie between Park Avenue South and Third Avenue. Irving Place commences at the southern end of Gramercy Park, running to 14th Street, and Lexington Avenue, a major north-south thoroughfare on the East Side of Manhattan, stops at the north end.

Gramercy Park boundaries are roughly 14th Street to the south, First Avenue to the east, 23rd Street to the north, and Park Avenue South to the west. To the west of Gramercy Park is the Flatiron District and Union Square, to the south Greenwich Village and the East Village, to the east are Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, and to the north are Rose Hill on the northwest and Kips Bay on the northeast.

The boundaries of the Historic District of Gramercy Park are set in 1966 and extended in 1988, are irregular, lying within the neighborhood, and can be seen in the map in the infobox on the right. A proposed extension to the district would include more than 40 additional buildings on Gramercy Park East and North, Lexington Avenue, Park Avenue South, East 22nd and East 19th Streets, and Irving Place.

"Gramercy" Etymology is an Anglicization (To become English in form or character) of "Crommessie", which is derived from the Dutch Krom Moerasje, meaning "little crooked swamp", or Krom Mesje, meaning "little crooked knife", describing the shape of the swamp, brook and hill on the site. The brook, which later become known as Crommessie Vly, flowed in a 40-foot gully along what is now 21st Street into the East River at 18th Street. "Krom Moerasje", or "Krom Mesje" became corrupted to "Crommessie" or "Crommashie" which itself was further corrupted refrence to "Gramercy.

Gramercy Park popular culture:
Literature

* 1892: John Seymour Wood's Gramercy Park: A Story of New York may be one of the first literary works set in the area
* 1945: In E. B. White's children's book Stuart Little, the Little family live at "22 Gramercy Park", which White describes as " pleasant place near a park in New York City." White also wrote a poem called "Gramercy Park", which was published in The New Yorker, about he and a friend climbing over the fence into the park.
* 1949: Henry David McCracken's The Family on Gramercy Park is set in the neighborhood.
* 1961: Medusa in Gramercy Park is a book of poems by Horace Gregory
* 1965: The address in the title of Priscilla Dalton's 90 Gramercy Park does not actually exist.
* 1970: A character in Jack Finney's, Time and Again lives in the neighborhood around Gramercy Park.
* 1982: In The Brownstone House of Nero Wolfe by Ken Darby, the character Archie Goodwin states that Nero Wolfe's townhouse was actually on East 22nd Street in the Gramercy Park district rather than the fictional West 35th street address(es) given in the novels to protect Wolfe's privacy.
* 1983: Bruce Nicolaysen's The Pirate of Gramercy Park is part of the Novel of New York multi-generation family historical fiction series.
* 1988: In the book Changes for Samantha, part of the American Girl series, Samantha stays at her Uncle Gardner and Aunt Cordelia's brownstone house in Gramercy Park.
* 2001: The mystery novel Muder on Gramercy Park by Victoria Thompson is part of the Gaslight Mystery series
* 2003: Paula Cohen's historical novel Gramercy Park is set in 1894.
* 2005: The Monsters of Gramercy Park by Danny Leigh is a psychological thriller.
* 2006: Several key scenes of Jed Rubenfeld's historical thriller The Interpretation of Murder, which is set in New York in 1909, take place in the park itself and the houses nearby, where one of the book's main protagonists lives.
* 2007: The Luxe, a book by Anna Godbersen, takes place in the neighborhood around Gramercy Park.

Films

* Note: Because Gramercy Park is private, film companies are not usually allowed to shoot there.
* 1973: In the science fiction film Soylent Green, which is set in New York in 2022, a corrupt New York governor escorts some children into a tent saying, "This was once called, 'Gramercy Park,' boys. Now it's the only tree sanctuary in New York."
* 1979: In the film The Warriors, one of the fictional gangs featured is the Gramercy Riffs.
* 1993: The exterior of the park can be seen in the Woody Allen film Manhattan Murder Mystery. The characters in the film comment on the beauty of the park from a wine tasting filmed in the National Arts Club. Later in the film Diane Keaton and Alan Alda walk into the street directly in front of the park as they try to track a bus route.
* 1999: In the film Notting Hill, a famous actress, played by Julia Roberts, is shown starring in a film called Gramercy Park, which was also the name of the production company for Notting Hill.

Music

* 1997: Australian singer-songwriter Ben Lee released a song entitled "Grammercy Park Hotel" on his album Something to Remember Me By.
* 2000: Jazz fusion/rock duo Steely Dan made mention of the park in "Janie Runaway", from their album Two Against Nature: Down in Tampa the future looked desperate and dark / Now you're the wonderwaif of Gramercy Park.
* 2001: Dutch jazz pianist Michiel Borstlap owns a record label called "Gramercy Park" and he also composed a tune with the same name.
* 2002: The Industrial Metal band Deadsy released a song entitled "The Key to Gramercy Park" on their album Commencement.
* 2009: Artist and producer of electronic music HMC International also released a track with the name "The Key to Gramercy Park".