port of harlem magazine
 
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Effort to Save Underground Railroad Related House - New York City
 
March 11 – March 24, 2021
 
857 Riverside Drive



857 Riverside Drive Now



Upon learning that the new owner of 857 River Side Drive applied for a demolition permit to demolish the rare mid 19th century house and replace it with a 13-story apartment tower, the Upper Riverside Residents Alliance began working to preserve the New York City site tied to the Underground Railroad.

The house was once owned by Dennis Harris, a hero of the Underground Railroad, and Judge John Newhouse, his friend and colleague. Both men were ardent abolitionists, civic-minded entrepreneurs, and pivotal figures in the growth of Washington Heights. Sites related to abolitionists and the Underground Railroad are rare in New York, and this Greek Revival–Italianate house is arguably the only one known to survive north of 96th Street in Manhattan.

Harris was a leading activist in the fight for racial justice and an ally of suffragists, befriending such luminaries as Elizabeth Blackwell and Lucy Stone. Together, he and Newhouse enriched the life of the nearby Audubon Park and Carmansville neighborhoods, exerting an impact on the economic, social and spiritual life of the area that was both significant and historic". 

The Upper Riverside Residents Alliance, along with Manhattan Community Board 12, elected officials, a coalition of civic and preservation groups, and concerned individuals are committed to saving this historic Structure, preserving its history and protecting its future as a New York City Landmark.

Sign the petition to save the home.

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