MacDougal–Sullivan Gardens Historic District

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MacDougal–Sullivan Gardens
Historic District
82-96 MacDougal Street.jpg
82–96 MacDougal Street
MacDougal–Sullivan Gardens Historic District is located in New York City
MacDougal–Sullivan Gardens Historic District
Location 74–86 MacDougal St. and
170–188 Sullivan St.
Manhattan, New York City
Coordinates 40°43′42″N 74°00′05″W / 40.72833°N 74.00139°W / 40.72833; -74.00139Coordinates: 40°43′42″N 74°00′05″W / 40.72833°N 74.00139°W / 40.72833; -74.00139
Built MacDougal: 1844
Sullivan: 1850
Renovation & redesign: 1921
Architect Renovation & redesign:
Francis Y. Joannes and Maxwell Hyde
Architectural style Colonial Revival
with Greek Revival elements
NRHP Reference # 83001736[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP June 30, 1983[1]
Designated NYCL August 2, 1967[2]

The MacDougal–Sullivan Gardens Historic District is a small historic district consisting of 22 houses located at 74–96 MacDougal Street and 170–188 Sullivan Street between Houston and Bleecker Streets in the South Village area of the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City.

The district was designated a New York City landmark in 1967[2] and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.[1]


The land under what would become the historic district was purchased in 1796 by Nicholas Low, a prominent New York merchant. The houses were built in 1844 (MacDougal Street) and 1850 (Sullivan Street) by Low's estate, in the fashionable Greek Revival style. The original plans for the houses called for street level retail space and dormered roofs.[3]

Over time, the houses became run-down, until they were bought in 1920 by William Sloane Coffin Sr., a director of the furniture and rug retailer W. & J. Sloane, who formed the Hearth and Home Corporation to do so. Coffin's intention was to create an affordable development for middle-class professionals in what had become a slum; the project would be the most extensive such effort to that time. Coffin engaged architects Francis Y. Joannes and Maxwell Hyde, who converted the houses into apartments – a five-room duplex, a four-room apartment, and two "non-housekeeping" apartments – and re-faced the buildings in Colonial Revival style while retaining some of the original Greek Revival elements. They removed all the buildings' stoops, altered the doorways and entrances to the basement level, and combined the rear yards to make a common garden which included a playground for children.[2][3][4][5]

The renovation of the buildings was completed by 1921, and the garden by 1923. The houses were sold to individual owners in 1924, with the integrity of the project maintained by the MacDougal–Sullivan Gardens Association.[2][4][5]

Coffin's development was influential in its time, inspiring other developments such as that which is now the Turtle Bay Gardens Historic District,[3] and remains a "model for urban city housing".[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "MacDougal–Sullivan Gardens Historic District" on the NRHP database
  2. ^ a b c d e New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission "MacDougal–Sullivan Gardens Historic District Designation Report" (August 2, 1967)
  3. ^ a b c Diamonstein-Spielvogel, Barbaralee (2011), The Landmarks of New York, Albany, New York: State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-1-4384-3769-9 , p.673
  4. ^ a b New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission; Dolkart, Andrew S. (text); Postal, Matthew A. (text) (2009), Postal, Matthew A., ed., Guide to New York City Landmarks (4th ed.), New York: John Wiley & Sons, ISBN 978-0-470-28963-1 , p.50
  5. ^ a b White, Norval & Willensky, Elliot (2000), AIA Guide to New York City (4th ed.), New York: Three Rivers Press, ISBN 978-0-8129-3107-5 , p.124

External links[edit]