Happy Anniversary, Charlton-King-Vandam Historic District

Historic Homes of the Charlton-King-Vandam Historic District

Historic Homes of the Charlton-King-Vandam Historic District

On August 16th, 1966, the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the Charlton-King-Vandam Historic District. This small but distinct neighborhood is part of the South Village. It sits on a street grid designed by Aaron Burr in 1797, although the area was mostly developed between 1820 and 1829, cut out of a John Jacob Astor estate. The District is well known for containing the largest concentration of Federal style row houses in New York City, as well as homes in the Greek Revival style and a Queen Anne style former school.

This four-block district includes King Street, Varick Street, Vandam Street, MacDougal Street, Houston Street, and 6th Avenue. It is located on the site of Richmond Hill, a colonial mansion built in 1767 that served as George Washington’s headquarters, the official residence of the Vice-President of the United States, and the home of Aaron Burr. Read more about Burr, Alexander Hamilton, and the Charlton-King-Vandam Historic District here.

A map of the relartively small historic district. See the full map at http://www.gvshp.org/_gvshp/preservation/map/index.htm

A map of the relatively small historic district. See the full map with surrounding districts and a individual landmarks here: http://www.gvshp.org/_gvshp/preservation/map/index.htm

We have featured several of the district’s homes as part of the 2014 GVSHP Spring House Tour including 17 Vandam Street, 27 Charlton Street, and 21 Charlton Street. Read more about those homes, and the history of the Richmond Hill mansion here.

The extension of 6th Avenue through the district in the early 20th century resulted in the destruction of several area houses. The buildings adjacent to 6th Avenue were never intended to front a street on their eastern sides, and thus present blank walls to the street (see image below).

Image Via Google Maps

You can tell this historic district home on the northwest corner of King Street and 6th Avenue was not meant to face a street.  Image Via Google Maps

The district is also home to 43 MacDougal Street. This 1846 Greek Revival townhouse was suffering from neglect for over a decade until the owner began real efforts to restore the building in 2014. Read about the interesting success story of 43 MacDougal here. 

Read the original LPC designation report here, and the State and National Register Report here.

GVSHP also has some great historic images of the Charlton-King-Vandam Historic District in our historic image archive:  view them here and here.

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Sam Moskowitz