At the turn of the 20th century, horses were a primary provider of motive power and New York City was home to an estimated 74,000 horses and 4,600 stables. The Upper West Side was becoming a fashionable neighborhood of row houses and apartment buildings. Amsterdam Avenue was the area's chief service corridor, which undoubtedly reduced the avenue's desirability for residential purposes compared to the blocks to the east and west. The blocks between Broadway and Amsterdam and West 75th to West 77th streets became the home to a number of stables and the area became known colloquially as "Stable Row." (CPC 2007, Lueck 2006).
As automobiles and trucks replaced horses, many of the Stable Row buildings became garages, were replaced by new garage buildings and/or came to house automobile-associated businesses. City directory listings mapped below show the speedy transformation of stables around Manhattan into parking garages in the first two decades of the 20th century.
The 1907 directory (Trow 2007) lists 71 garages and 681 livery stables in Manhattan (58 and 534 of those addresses, respectively, remained geocodable in 2009).
By 1926, almost all of the stables were gone, replaced by 394 listings for garages out of 1,355 total listings for auto-related businesses (1,068 were geocodable in 2009).
In the 1926 listings, there are 47 addresses of garages common with 1907 listing of stables, although the actual number of stables converted into garages may be higher due to street number changes.
By 2009, an online yellow pages site for NYC (nyc.com 2009) listed 916 unique garages (848 geocodable) in Manhattan, although barren areas may indicate that this listing has significant omissions.
As of summer 2009, 23 of the 1907 stable addresses seem to still be in use as parking garages, although there are likely missing addresses from both years and further investigation would be needed to determine exactly which of these buildings are the same.
|1907 Business||2009 Business||Address||Zip|
|Hirschhorn Brothers / H. Moore & Son||Imperial Parking Systems||59 Allen Street||10002|
|Barnett George S.||Garage Management Company||122 West 3 Street||10012|
|Sebastiani Lorenzo||Kinney System Inc||224 Mulberry Street||10012|
|Rudden Thomas||Central Parking System||14 Charlton Street||10014|
|Seaich William H. Seaich / Opera Stables||Garage Mgmt Company Llc||142 East 31 Street||10016|
|Egan John J.||205 E 38 Street Parking||205 East 38 Street||10016|
|Quinn Jacob||The Mallah Organization Inc||213 East 38 Street||10016|
|Schuchman George||43rd Parking Llc||231 East 43 Street||10017|
|Mason Stable Co (ltd)||Garage Management Company||218 West 50 Street||10019|
|Colorado Boarding Stables||Rapid Park Industries||225 West 58 Street||10019|
|Bennett Invalid Coach||Garage Management Corporation||124 East 63 Street||10021|
|Kayton Simon||Sas Parking Svces Inc||182 East 73 Street||10021|
|Kriete Christine||Garage Management Company||305 East 80 Street||10021|
|Goodman Jacob M. & H.||Rapid Park Industries||441 East 78 Street||10021|
|Arnheiter Acton||Meyer's Parking System Inc||154 East 53 Street||10022|
|N Y Cab Co||Carousel Parking||201 West 75 Street||10023|
|Cedarhurst Boarding Stables||Kinney System Inc||147 West 83 Street||10024|
|Taylor Jacob||Wilfred 19 Street Garage Inc||203 West 77 Street||10024|
|Ansonia Stable Co||Garage Management Company||271 West 87 Street||10024|
|Henry Adrian L.||West 108 Street Parking Garage Corp||234 West 108 Street||10025|
|Star Stables (inc)||Garage Management Company||113 East 84 Street||10028|
|Witkin & Kanzer||Garage Mgmt Company Llc||167 East 84 Street||10028|
|Pick. I. & Sons||Icon Parking||156 East 105 Street||10029|
Although Stable Row remained in some form for over a century, low-rise buildings have been greedily eyed by developers during the sporadic bursts of building activity that afflict the city from time to time (Gray 1987). The "Roaring" 1920s saw the construction of numerous tall residential buildings on the Upper West Side, with notable additions to the stable row area including 2126 Broadway (The Beacon Theatre and Hotel, 1927), 2138 Broadway (1924), 2162 Broadway (Manhattan Towers, 1930), 360 West 77th (1929).
The construction bubble of the early 21st century resembled that of the 1920s and lead to the demise of the 348 Amsterdam (Mason Stables) and everything on West 76th Street for the construction of residential towers and a Jewish Community Center.
A closer look at maps of the Upper West Side indicates that Stable Row may not have been the most dense concentration of stables in the neighborhood. Stables (and, later, garages) were scattered around the neighborhood and a cluster of stables around 66th street between Amsterdam and West End Avenue near the old railyard may have been more significant in terms of numbers of animals. That area (as with a number of stable areas on the lower East Side) was obliterated during urban renewal in the 1950s and 1960s.
The Stable Row Buildings
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