Sugar Hill Historic District
718-730 St. Nicholas Avenue.jpg
row houses at 718-730 St. Nicholas Avenue (2014)
LocationRoughly bounded by W. 155th St., 145th St., Edgecombe Ave. and Amsterdam Ave.
Manhattan, New York City
Coordinates40°49′38″N 73°56′36″W / 40.82722°N 73.94333°W / 40.82722; -73.94333Coordinates: 40°49′38″N 73°56′36″W / 40.82722°N 73.94333°W / 40.82722; -73.94333
Area75 acres (30 ha)
ArchitectRichard S. Rosenstock, Arthur Bates Jennings, Frederick P. Dinkelberg, Henri Fouchaux, Theodore Minot Clark, Neville & Bagge, Schwartz & Gross, George F. Pelham, Horace Ginsbern, C. P. H. Gilbert, Clarence True, John P. Leo, Samuel B. Reed, William Grinnell, William Schickel et al.[2]
Architectural styleQueen Anne, Romanesque Revival, Renaissance Revival, Beaux-Arts, Neoclassical, Colonial Revival, Gothic Revival, neo-Grec, etc.[2]
NRHP reference No.02000360[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHPApril 11, 2002
Designated NYCLHamilton Heights/Sugar Hill HD: June 27, 2000
extension: October 3, 2001
Hamilton Heights/Sugar Hill Northeast HD: October 23, 2001
Hamilton Heights/Sugar Hill Northwest HD: June 18, 2002

Sugar Hill is a National Historic District in the Harlem and Hamilton Heights neighborhoods of Manhattan, New York City,[3] bounded by West 155th Street to the north, West 145th Street to the south, Edgecombe Avenue to the east, and Amsterdam Avenue to the west.[4] The equivalent New York City Historic Districts are:

The Federal district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.[1] The Federal district has 414 contributing buildings, two contributing sites, three contributing structures, and one contributing object.[6]


Sugar Hill got its name in the 1920s when the neighborhood became a popular place for wealthy African Americans to live during the Harlem Renaissance. Reflective of the "sweet life" there, Sugar Hill featured rowhouses in which lived such prominent African Americans as W. E. B. Du Bois, Thurgood Marshall, Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Walter Francis White, Roy Wilkins and Afro-Puerto Rican Arturo Schomburg.[7]

Langston Hughes wrote about the relative affluence of the neighborhood in his essay "Down Under in Harlem" published in The New Republic in 1944:

Don't take it for granted that all Harlem is a slum. It isn't. There are big apartment houses up on the hill, Sugar Hill, and up by City College -- nice high-rent-houses with elevators and doormen, where Canada Lee lives, and W. C. Handy, and the George S. Schuylers, and the Walter Whites, where colored families send their babies to private kindergartens and their youngsters to Ethical Culture School.[8]

Terry Mulligan's 2012 memoir "Sugar Hill, Where the Sun Rose Over Harlem"[9][10] is a chronicle of the writer's experiences growing up in the 1950s and '60s in the neighborhood, where her neighbors included future United States Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, early rock n' roll legend Frankie Lymon, and New York baseball great Willie Mays.

Notable buildings

Among the many notable buildings in the Sugar Hill area are:[2]


In popular culture

See also



  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d e New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission; Dolkart, Andrew S.; Postal, Matthew A. (2009). Postal, Matthew A. (ed.). Guide to New York City Landmarks (4th ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons. pp. 189–208. ISBN 978-0-470-28963-1.
  3. ^ "Harlem - New York City Neighborhood - NYC". New York (magazine). 2003-03-10. Retrieved 2009-01-04.
  4. ^ "Harlem, Hamilton Heights, El Barrio, New York City". Retrieved 2009-01-04.
  5. ^ Siegal, Nina (2000-06-15). "Landmark Status For Harlem Buildings; District Holds Hub of Black Culture". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-01-04.
  6. ^ Howe, Kathleen A. (January 2002). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Sugar Hill Historic District". New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Retrieved 2011-03-25. See also: "Accompanying 69 photos".
  7. ^ a b White, Norval; Willensky, Elliot & Leadon, Fran (2010). AIA Guide to New York City (5th ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. p. 546. ISBN 978-0-19538-386-7.
  8. ^ Hughes, Langston. "Down Under in Harlem". The New Republic (March 27, 1944): 404-5
  9. ^ Terry Baker Mulligan website
  10. ^ Henderson, Jane (6 May 2012). "Penned in St. Louis: Terry Baker Mulligan". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved 22 February 2013.
  11. ^ Taborn, Karen Faye (2018-05-21). Walking Harlem : the ultimate guide to the cultural capital of black America. New Brunswick, New Jersey. ISBN 978-0-8135-9458-3. OCLC 1038016815.
  12. ^ Elaine Woo, "Marvel Cooke; Pioneering Black Journalist, Political Activist", Los Angeles Times, December 6, 2000.
  13. ^ Taborn, Karen Faye (2018-05-21). Walking Harlem : the ultimate guide to the cultural capital of black America. New Brunswick, New Jersey. ISBN 978-0-8135-9458-3. OCLC 1038016815.
  14. ^ Perrone, Pierre (2011-10-04). "Sylvia Robinson: Hitmaker who co-founded Sugar Hill Records and became known as 'the mother of hip-hop' - Obituaries - News". The Independent. Archived from the original on 2022-05-25. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
  15. ^ "Claudine (1974) - Filming & Production - IMDb". Retrieved March 18, 2020.