Tours of Washington Heights This Fall

Written By Adam Rothstein | August 19, 2011
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Manhattan’s Washington Heights neighborhood is gearing up for a series of walking tours exploring its historic significance this fall, beginning in September. James Renner, a neighborhood intellectual and the Community Board 12 appointed historian will be leading them, sharing his love of both Washington Heights, as well as Manhattan’s Inwood with anyone willing to learn. Explains Renner in a DNAinfo article, “these tours will demonstrate to the resident and visitor alike how Upper Manhattan has changed and adapted to suit the needs of its new inhabitants and tourists.” The first of their kind in this vibrant part of NYC, these “walk-abouts” promise to promote awareness and provide education hitherto unavailable to Manhattanites and tourists alike.

The tours will span Washington Heights, Inwood, as well the geographically separated, yet still legally part of Manhattan, neighborhood of Marble Hill. Though it sits over the Harlem River in the Bronx, Renner plans on explaining not only why it is considered a part of Manhattan but also the area’s rich history. Aside from the story of how it was cut off from the island when NYC decided to dig a channel connecting the Harlem and Hudson Rivers, those taking advantage of these tours will also be treated to sights and stories of its 1870s homes built in the “Painted Ladies” architectural style. In Washington Heights, the tour will include the Jumel Terrace Historic District, which was once home to George Washington. The Inwood tour will showcase Sherman Creek, which features nature trails and is the first entirely energy efficient, green building constructed by the New York Restoration Project. These tours promise to be a unique experience, and a wonderful opportunity to learn about several of Manhattan’s oldest and most vital neighborhoods from an expert in their history.

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