There’s a lot you can learn about your neighborhood from the New-York Historical Society, and Upper West Side blog West Side Rag is taking advantage of that. In their new History Beat series, they choose an object or document from the archives of the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library that references the Upper West Side, and delves deep into that object’s history. For instance, they recently researched the history of the Claremont Inn. Originally built in 1804 by Michael Hogan, the home changed hands until it was bought by Joel Post in the 1840s, who converted it to a road house. The city then bought the house as a part of Riverside park in the 1870s.
The Claremont Inn had iterations, from road house to exclusive dining spot to a seasonal venue, but it’s popularity eventually waned and by 1951 the city decided to tear it down (a fire started when the coals of a watchman’s hand-warming barrel ignited helped that). However, if you go to Riverside park you can see a commemorative plaque, and imagine the lives of the people who visited the Inn during its long life.
If you’re curious about your own neighborhood, you can always do your own research at the Klingenstein Library. Tell us, what city monuments do you want to learn about?