Mount St. Vincent
Just east of East Drive around 106th Street.
In the 18th century, this hill just to the west of the current Conservatory was the location of McGown's Tavern and the pass through the bluffs just to the west for Kingsbridge Road was referred to as McGown's Pass. In the 19th century it became the site of the first Motherhouse of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul of New York and the Academy of Mount St. Vincent, a convent, hospital and school run by the Roman Catholic Sisters of Charity. The religious activities were relocated when the land was siezed for the park in the late 1850's, although the building remained in use as a hospital during the Civil War.
Mount St. Vincent was renovated in the early 1870s and returned to service as a restaurant and gathering spot for the wealthy. It burned and was rebuilt in 1883 as McGown's Pass Tavern when the Sisters of Charity asked that their old name not be used in conjunction with an establishment for unsanctified activities. (Rosenzweig, pp 317) The buildings were finally demolished in 1917 and in the 1980s, the park's composting operation was moved here.
About the only thing remaining from the Academy days appears to be a retaining wall on the northeast corner of the site and a stone wall fragment that may have been part of the building's foundation.