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A History of Gramercy Park

Within the city of New York one of the most stunning places to pay a visit to has to be Gramercy Park. This beautiful parkland with thousands of trees has a long and fairly well documented history beginning around the 1800's. Originally the area was little more than an expanse of marshy ground until a lawyer Samuel Ruggle had a vision to develop it into something really special. He designed a generously sized iron gated enclosure, intended as somewhere affluent families would wish to live, containing an abundance of native plants and forestry. The wonderfully landscaped plot, originally a swamp, was skilfully drained, landscaped and divided into 66 individual acreages with dwellings suitable for those wishing for a peaceful exclusive lifestyle. The clever and originative layout is imagined to be a primary and very early influence on all future city planning.

Deeds and a limited number of keys were then prepared to allow the home buyers the opportunity to form a very exclusive and private neighborhood. The construction of Ruggle's visionary plans have allowed many well-known politicians, creative artists and celebrities to reside in a quiet and swanky, but extremely centralized space. Gramercy Park then became home to a number of distinctive buildings of archeological significance, including an older cooperative in the city that boasted one of the first elevators. Since 1844 the famous ornamental gates of this unique housing development have always been locked, so therefore inaccessible to the general public aside from one set afternoon a year.

The National Arts Club is also situated in this magnificent park and was the first organization to admit women on the same equal basis as men in 1898. The club was the one time home of Samuel Tilden while he was governor of New York. This house is rumored to conceal a secret passage into a neighboring street. The hidden passageway proved useful when it was important to avoid and escape political rivals or impending riots at the time of the Civil War. Edwin Booth was another prominent former resident. As a Shakespearean actor, Booth is thought to be responsible for founding the Players Club and erected a statue of him dressed as Hamlet in 1918. Gramercy Park is also known to be the birthplace of Teddy Roosevelt and most recently the brilliant film star James Cagney.

The overall appearance of this incredible park and architecture has changed quite a bit since its initial construction. As the park grew in popularity, the community established various churches, associations and retail outlets. Around the year 1881 the American inventor Thomas Edison famously rented an apartment in the south side of Gramercy Park along with his wife and daughter. In 1863 the park was officially opened to some of the brave dedicated soldiers who had fully protected it from harm during the Civil war. By 1966 the NY City Landmarks Preservation Commission decided to recognize and nominate this specific park as a Historic District.

In the 1983 a bronze sculptured fountain created by Greg Wyatt was built, and in the year 1890, an idea to run a cable car through the park was soon dampened. Both residents and trustees agreed it would be too intrusive. A couple of decades later it was announced that the boundaries of this leafy district would be extended to include space for new schools, colleges and charitable institutions. With a rich and diverse scenery, historical property and apartments near Gramercy Park are extremely sought after. Living in these delightful and stimulating surroundings steeped in historical interest is highly recommended especially for anyone who truly values and respects the beauty and peacefulness of nature.

PCVST Living offers apartments near Gramercy Park and is also pleased to offer a history rich, leafy district for New Yorkers and their families. Call (877) 756-9692 to inquire about no-fee rentals in NYC.