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Astor RowIt was in the early 1880s that William Astor put up Astor Row. It's 28 red-brick houses, attached in pairs and mostly redone, are a symbol of the area's recent revival. Most porches were restored through a grant provided in the 1990s by Brooke Astor.
WHAT YOU’LL FIND
Astor Row consists of 28 houses, on a single block on the south side of West 130th Street. The three-story red-brick houses are attached in pairs, each 20 feet wide on 25-foot-wide lots, allowing extra light to spill into interior rooms. The houses are set back 20 feet from the street; almost all have wooden porches built with turned posts.
Across the shady street stand stately high-stooped town houses. The surrounding neighborhood, from Madison Avenue to Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard (also known as Seventh Avenue), from 125th to 135th Street, consists of row houses, small apartment buildings and a few new condominiums.
Around the corner from Astor Row is the Victorian row house that from 1903 to his death in 1917 was the home of Philip A Payton Jr., the black Realtor who opened Harlem to blacks. In the 1980s, after years as a rooming house, the house stood vacant and boarded up, next to three empty lots. A few years ago, it was converted into four rentals, while the Lenox, a 12-unit condominium, went up on the vacant lots.
Photo: Hiroko Masuike for The New York Times