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History of the neighborhood
Murray Hill is a unique neighborhood where 2 residential historic districts co-exist with dense commercial areas in the center of midtown Manhattan. Named after Robert and Mary Lindley Murray, the farmland property, formerly called Inclenberg, is where their estate was located in the 1750s. The property covered the area from Lexington Avenue to Madison Avenue to the east and west, and from 39th to 33rd Street to the north and south. Their home, known as Belmont, was located on a hilltop at Park Avenue and 37th Street. A bronze plaque honoring Mary Murray was installed at the site of Belmont by the Daughters of the American Revolution for her role in the Revolutionary War. The plaque is located on the mall at East 37th Street. Another plaque is located at 16 Park Avenue, marking the geographic center of Inclenberg.
The preservation of several blocks of historic buildings in this dynamic part of Manhattan is largely due to the Murray Hill Restriction, a document registered in 1847 with the City of New York by the descendants of the Murrays. By this time, the street grid, along with row houses and mansions had replaced the Murray property, and the New York and Harlem Railroad had blasted an open trench through the neighborhood on Fourth Avenue from 33rd to 40th Street, where Park Avenue is now. The city was expanding northward. The Murray Hill Restriction was a covenant written into property deeds that made it illegal to build anything other than a “brick or stone dwelling” and allowed existing buildings to be used only as residences. No commercial uses of any kind were permitted. In 1851, the Fourth Avenue railroad tracks were covered over and landscaped, and the street was renamed Park Avenue.
The protection of the historic and residential character of the neighborhood was later taken up by the Murray Hill Association. Formed in 1914, its original directors were J. Pierpont Morgan Jr. and other prominent men of the time. By the early 20th century, multi-family high-rise apartment buildings and large commercial buildings were replacing low-rise residential buildings in midtown, and the group brought many legal battles to court to limit the location of high-rise and commercial buildings in the neighborhood. The Murray Hill Restriction held sway during this period and lasted for more than a century. Murray Hill is now protected by zoning laws and its Historic Districts have their own protection.
The historic buildings of Murray Hill include a range of periods and styles, from the Church of the Incarnation in the Gothic style, to various town houses built in the mid-1800s, to the Gilded Age mansions of the late 19th-early 20th century. Prominent families such as Havermeyer, Rhinelander, Belmont and Pell built mansions and lived in Murray Hill in the Gilded Age, during the period from 1877 to 1900 and were listed in the famous Blue Book. The legendary Waldorf Astoria Hotel located at 34th and Fifth Avenue was the venue for Mrs. Astor’s Ball held for the Blue Book 400 (the 400 most fashionable people in New York Society). The hotel was demolished to make way for the Empire State Building.
World famous architects such as McKim, Mead and White, C.P.H. Gilbert, Hoppin & Koen, Emlen T. Little, William Adams Delano and Horace Trumbauer designed many of the Murray Hill buildings in which notable people lived. The streets of Murray Hill are graced by many architectural styles such as Beaux Arts, French Renaissance, Empire, Formal Palatial, Gothic, Georgian and Romanesque Revival, Regency and Anglo- Italianite. There were also carriage houses and stables located east of Lexington Avenue that provided transportation for mansion residents. The northern part of the area developed as a commercial and transportation hub, following the opening of Grand Central Depot in 1871, now Grand Central Terminal. This also led to the creation of nearby high-rise club hotels, which give a distinctive character to the neighborhood.
Murray Hill is home to a Historic District of 88 structures between Park Avenue and Lexington Avenue and Sniffen Court, a mews of 10 former stables, which is its own Historic District. There are 14 individual NYC Landmark Structures in Murray Hill and 239 structures listed on The National Register of Historic Places between Madison Avenue and Third Avenue and 34th-39th Streets.
The current Murray Hill Neighborhood Association (originally called the Murray Hill Committee) was formed in 1960 to oppose Robert Moses’s plan to widen East 36th and East 37th Streets between 3rd and 11th Avenue for the Mid-Manhattan Expressway (unbuilt). This would have required removing the stoops of historic buildings along East 36th and East 37th Streets in Murray Hill, and would have changed the character of this residential neighborhood. Since then, the MHNA has been working continuously to preserve historic Murray Hill and to advocate for the neighborhood as a historic district and for landmark designation for its significant buildings. The MNHA also works to protect, preserve and beautify the community with greening projects, and works to promote civic engagement, to reach out to the Murray Hill community through its website, eblasts and social media. It is a voice for the neighborhood on issues such as safety, noise, traffic and transportation. The MHNA also works to protect, preserve and beautify the community with greening projects, and works to promote civic engagement by reaching out to the Murray Hill community through its website, eblast and social media. Our goal is to keep Murray Hill a highly desirable place to live, work and visit.
Timeline of achievements of The Murray Hill Neighborhood Association and milestones for the neighborhood since 1960
The Murray Hill Committee, now known as The Murray Hill Neighborhood Association, was founded by twelve Murray Hill homeowners to oppose the City's plans to remove the brownstone stoops along 36th and 37th Street and to widen those streets as part of Robert Moses’ Mid-Manhattan Expressway project (unbuilt). The Murray Hill Committee founders were Joseph Aaronson, Pauline Battschinger, Edward Bernard, George Bernstein, Hilda Carlisle, Katherine Flanigan, Eleanor Clark French, Ann Lane Moss, William F. Passannante, Mary Barrett Reis, John W. Throckmorton, Frank Wetzel. Edward Bernard was the first president of the newly formed group, whose mission was "for the purpose of preserving and promoting residential character of said neighborhood and for the purpose of developing interest in the civic affairs of the community." (To Preserve Murray Hill, letter to the New York Times by Eleanor Clark French, June 10, 1959, page 6.) Following Edward Bernard as president was Richard Lang, Edwin Hochberg, Stephen Weingrad, Mark Tracten, Stephen Weingrad (2nd term) and Diane Bartow. In the late ‘60s, the Murray Hill Committee made its membership more inclusive to include all neighborhood residents who wanted to become members and have a voice in their community.
The Morgan Library was landmarked
This iconic building, located at 29-33 East 36th Street, was designated as an individual landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. Built in 1904-1906, the Library was designed by McKim, Mead and White. The Library was built to house J. Pierpont Morgan’s collection of rare books. LPC Report
This mews on 36th Street between Lexington and 3rd Avenue was built in 1864 and contains ten 2-story buildings that housed the stables and carriage houses servicing the mansions on Madison and Park Avenue. After automobiles came into use in the early 20th century, the buildings were converted to residential and other uses. The Amateur Comedy Club, a private theater club, has been at 150 East 36th Street since 1918. The sculptor Malvina Hoffman had a studio at the back of Sniffen Court in a building that goes through to 35th Street. Two of her relief sculptures of Greek horsemen are visible at the back of Sniffen Court. A Cultural Medallion honoring Malvina Hoffman is installed at 157 East 35th Street.
The Set-back Federal House was landmarked
The building, located at 152 East 38th Street was designated as an individual landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. Built in 1857 it was the residence of relatives of Martin Van Buren. LPC Report
The Murray Hill Block Party
was initiated by the Murray Hill Committee as an annual fund-raising event. The Committee was one of the first community groups to initiate a neighborhood block party for this purpose. The first theme was The Greening of Murray Hill to raise funds that were used to plant 500 new trees in the community. It was a success, and today the association cares for nearly 600 trees in the community. Over the years, the Block Party has expanded to be the annual Murray Hill Street Festival. The greening effort was spearheaded by Edwin Hochberg, President of the Murray Hill Committee
The Murray Hill Neighborhood Association committees became very active, focusing on community improvement and involvement with residents and businesses.
The Third Avenue commercial area continues to be a focus, with the goal of promoting a clean and inviting place to shop, dine, and enjoy convenient personal services. Business participation and membership have been an important part of the MHNA over the years.
The Murray Hill Committee Newsletter
was launched with the Fall 1973 issue. Items covered in the first issue were the Murray Hill block party, the tree planting initiative, parks, street lighting, anti-crime efforts, stopping high-rise buildings on streets where they are not permitted by zoning laws, and stopping a Long Island Railroad Passenger Terminal under Third Avenue between 43rd and 50th Street. (The suggestion to use Grand Central Terminal instead was finally implemented in the East Side Access project, which is expected to be completed in 2022.)
was initiated. Neighborhood residents shared in the cost and care of new street trees. A tree map and tree brochure were created. The Murray Hill street trees are highly valued by the neighborhood and cared for to this day. For today’s tree map visit the New York City Parks Department’s website tree-map.nycgovparks.org/tree-map/neighborhood/182.
Neighborhood beautification projects in Murray Hill
included the planting of tulips on the Park Avenue Malls and “clean sweep” events in spring and fall to clean the streets and tree pits. These events continue to this day.
The De Lamar Mansion was landmarked
The building, located at 233 Madison Avenue was designated as an individual landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. Built in 1902-1905 for Joseph De Lamar, a Dutch-born entrepreneur, the building was designed by C.P. H. Gilbert. LPC Report.
Murray Hill was designated an Official Bicentennial District
celebrating 200 years of the American Revolution. The Murray Hill Historic Photo Exhibit was created and shown during the Bicentennial and has been displayed many times over the years. The entire exhibit was donated by The Murray Hill Neighborhood Association to City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center in 2001
Dean Avery created the official Bicentennial celebration poster and map of Historic Murray Hill with drawings of historic buildings.
The map on parchment is available to purchase from The Murray Hill Neighborhood Association website catalog. Prints of Dean Avery’s drawings of historic buildings in Murray Hill are also available for purchase from the website catalog.
Walking Tours of Historic Murray Hill were initiated.
Minor Bishop (1927-2019), Murray Hill historian, architect and artist, began conducting walking tours at the Murray Hill block parties. He designed these educational tours as a way to make the history of Murray Hill more widely known through its architecture, the architects who designed the buildings and the notable people who lived in the neighborhood. A video of the Walking Tour was designed and produced by the Preservation & Design committee in 1998, with Minor Bishop as the tour guide. The video was available for purchase from the MHNA's catalog for more than 20 years. Minor Bishop also created drawings of Murray Hill’s historic buildings, compiled in a sketchbook. The tours continue to this day. (Past and Present Meet in Murray Hill Celebration, June 4, 1976, nytimes.com, by Fred Ferretti.)
An illustrated map and brochure, Historic Murray Hill Walking Tour, designed by Dean Avery, is provided to people who take the walking tour.
An Historic District in Murray Hill
by Anita Pins was published by the Murray Hill Committee to support further study on the creation of a Historic District comprising 35th Street between Park and Lexington Avenues.
The Menorah on Park Avenue
was installed for the first time during the winter holiday season. (Murray Hill Committee newsletter, January 1977.) This has become an annual tradition.
The Murray Hill Committee participated in the historic train ride to Save Grand Central Terminal.
The Committee supported the Municipal Arts Society in their efforts to maintain the landmark status of Grand Central Terminal. Stephen Weingrad, President of the Murray Hill Committee, Irma Worrell, Dr. Robert Fisher, and other committee members joined Jacqueline Onassis, Second Lady Mrs. Walter Mondale, Mayor Ed Koch, city commissioners and officials, and many preservation society representatives on the Landmark Train ride from Grand Central to Washington, DC. A unique contribution to the Landmark Train was the inclusion of Historic Car Number 120, which had been the private coach of the past New York Central president. The car was lent by its owners George and Anita Pins, residents of Murray Hill.
The Church of the Incarnation was landmarked.
This building at 205-207 Madison Avenue was designated as an individual landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. Built in 1864 and designed by Emlen T. Little, the church features stained-glass windows by William Morris, Edward Burne-Jones, Louis Comfort Tiffany and John La Farge; the oak communion rail was carved by Daniel Chester French. LPC Report
Lanier Mansion was landmarked.
This building at 123 East 35th Street was designated as an individual landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. Built in 1903 for the prominent banker James F. D. Lanier and his wife Harriet, the building was designed by architects Hoppin & Koen. LPC Report
Adelaide Douglas House was landmarked.
This building at 57 Park Avenue was designated as an individual landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. Built in 1911 as the Adelaide L. Douglas residence, it was designed by architect Horace Trumbauer. The U.S. Olympic Committee had their offices there, and it is now the Permanent Mission of Guatemala. LPC Report
Thomas Clarke house, 22 East 35th Street, was landmarked.
In 1901, a brownstone rowhouse at 22 East 35th Street was purchased by Thomas Benedict Clarke (1848 - 1931), a prominent art collector, dealer and decorator. Clarke contracted the prestigious architecture firm of McKim, Mead & White in 1902 to completely redesign the building to be a showcase for Clarke's collection. The result was a building with a distinctive colonial Georgian style. Clarke's friend, Stanford White, is credited with the redesign, which garnered lavish praise for its beauty. In 1937, the house was purchased by The Collectors Club, an organization founded in 1896 and dedicated to philataly (the collection and study of postage stamps). The Collectors Club is one of the foremost organizations of its kind, and has had many notable members, including Franklin Delano Roosevelt. In 1979 the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the building a New York City Historical Landmark. In 2022, the building became the home of the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Serbia to the United Nations. LPC Report
Advocacy for preservation.
The Murray Hill Committee with Community Board 6 advocated for the downzoning of Murray Hill and the designation of Murray Hill as one of the areas in the city that should be preserved. This was in response to the New York City Department of City Planning's Midtown Development Project for Growth, Stabilization and Preservation. ("Downzoning Murray Hill," Murray Hill Committee Newsletter, October 1980, page 4).
Patrons of Park Avenue (POPA),
a committee of The Murray Hill Neighborhood Association, was founded by a group of community leaders and Park Avenue building owners to restore the historic iron fences along the Park Avenue Mall to their original design dating to 1850 and to establish an annual beautification and maintenance program for the mall’s plantings. Original funding for the mall between 37th & 38th Street was from the developer of 52 Park Avenue. The landscaping and maintenance of the malls is currently funded by donations from building owners, co-op and condo Boards, civic-minded individuals and The Murray Hill Neighborhood Association. MHNA Honorary Trustee Irma Worrell Fisher is the founding chair of POPA. POPA has continuously cared for the Park Avenue Malls in Murray Hill since it was founded. Murray Hill Committee newsletter, 1982 issue 1.
Pierpont Morgan Library first floor interior is designated an interior landmark. Located at 29 East 36th Street, and consisting of the entrance hall, the east room, and the west room; and the fixtures and interior components of these spaces, including but not limited to, wall and ceiling surfaces, floor surfaces, doors, windows, columns, murals, sculpture, fireplaces, attached bookcases, and light fixtures, it was built in 1903-06; architect Charles Follen McKim of McKim, Mead & White. LPC report
The HONEY (Help Our Neighbors Eat Year-Round) program was launched
with the D’Agostino grocery store at 35th Street and Third Avenue. This program provided food assistance for low-income older people of the Murray Hill community. D’Agostino’s provided bins to collect non-perishable foods, which were then distributed to neighbors in need. Holiday meals were also delivered as part of this program. The Murray Hill Committee did fundraising for the program, which continued until 2015.
Advocacy for preservation.
The Murray Hill Committee and Manhattan Borough President Andrew Stein hosted a public meeting on the importance of downzoning for Murray Hill and designation of the area as a historic district. Without those zoning amendments, the neighborhood would be overtaken by skyscrapers and could lose important architectural and cultural treasures. The meeting was held at the Community Church, and guest speakers included Landmarks Preservation Commission commissioner, Gene Norman, and New York Landmarks Conservancy chairman, Brendan Gill. ("Historic District for Murray Hill Gets Much Needed Boost," Murray Hill Committee Newsletter, April,1984, page 1)
Murray Hill is rezoned to contextual zones R8B and R9X.
The New York City Planning Commission unanimously recommended the rezoning of Murray Hill to contextual zones R8B and R9X, and the city's Board of Estimate (composed of the Mayor, the Comptroller, the President of the City Council and the five Borough Presidents) unanimously approved the rezoning, after years of lobbying and presentations by the Murray Hill Committee, supported by neighborhood residents and Community Board 6. Prior to the meeting a telephone campaign was conducted to tell Murray Hill residents about the issue and the meeting, as well as phone calls and posters to get residents to write letters to Board of Estimate members, 2,200 signatures were collected on petitions. The Murray Hill Committee and CB6 reached out and got the support of fifteen other community and preservation groups and political leaders, and frequent discussions were held with members of the BofE and their staffs. Three large busloads of residents and supporters attended the City Hall meeting, which ran into the night! The Board of Estimate's decision to rezone the midblocks of Murray Hill to contextual zones R8B and R9X preserved our quality of life, sunlight, air and leafy green streetscape. ("How We Did It" and "Murray Hill Lives," Murray Hill Committee Newsletter, Winter 1986, page 2.) The preservation of Murray Hill was strengthened in 2002 when the area was designated a Historic District.
The Murray Hill Neighborhood Association Architectural Preservation Awards
were initiated by the Preservation & Design Committee of The Murray Hill Neighborhood Association to create public awareness and pride in Murray Hill's rich architectural history as well as to honor building owners who have restored the exterior of their buildings to their original design or created a new design that is compatible with the historic streetscape. More than 90 award certificates have been presented to Murray Hill building owners since the inception of the program.
The Murray Hill Committee opposed the 42nd Street Light Rail project.
In 1994, the New York City Council approved the project which would have laid tracks on the south side of 42nd Street from river to river. The Committee and several other organizations and buildings joined to oppose the plan.
The Member Discount Program
was launched. Murray Hill businesses, in particular the independent businesses, and nonprofits are a vital part of our neighborhood character. This program provides discounts for members at neighborhood fine restaurants, businesses and nonprofits. It also helps promote neighborhood businesses to members. The Discount Program continues to this day.
The Third Avenue Improvement Project won the Green Thumb Award.
The award was given by the Third Avenue Association in recognition of the Committee’s achievements in landscaping that have improved New York City’s streetscape, pedestrian environment and overall quality of life. Fourteen new trees were planted and eight new tree beds were opened and planted with flowers and ivy between 35th and 39th Street. (The Murray Hill Neighborhood Association newsletter Winter 1995.)
The Murray Hill Committee changed its name to The Murray Hill Neighborhood Association.
The name change was done to reflect the inclusiveness of our community association. (The Murray Hill Neighborhood Association newsletter Winter 1995.)
Patrons of Park Avenue (POPA) was awarded a $450,000 grant to complete the restoration and planting of the Park Avenue Malls from 34th to 39th Streets.
This grant was spearheaded by New York City Council Members Andrew Eristoff, Thomas Duane, and Antonio Pagan, under Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, and the program was administered through the New York City Parks Department.
Bowdoin Carriage House was landmarked.
The building located at 149 East 38th Street was designated as an individual landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. Built in 1902, by architect Ralph S Townsend for William R.H. Martin, this carriage house was later sold to George S. Bowdoin, a member of the J .P. Morgan firm who lived at 39 Park Avenue. Mr. Bowdoin converted it to a garage in 1918. The building later housed the Gabarron Foundation—Carriage House Center for the Arts and now houses the Henry George School of Social Science. LPC Report
Jonathan W. Allen Stable was landmarked.
The building located at 148 East 40th Street was designated as an individual landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. Built in 1871 as a private stable for Jonathan W. Allen, a broker, and located near his home, the building was designed by Charles Hadden. LPC Report
M1 Bus service for Murray Hill.
The Murray Hill Neighborhood Association joined with other community organizations to oppose the NYC Transit Authority’s plan to reroute the M1 bus so that it would no longer service Murray Hill. We lost this battle and no longer have a bus running on Park Avenue. Further cuts to bus service have occurred, leading to the loss of the Lexington Avenue bus stops on the M42 and M34 bus routes.
J. Hampden Robb Mansion was landmarked.
The building located at 23 Park Avenue was designated as an individual landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. Built in 1892 for J. Hampden Robb, attorney and Parks Commissioner, and Cornelia Van Rensselaer Robb, the five story mansion was designed by architect, Stanford White. LPC Report
The MHNA received the PRIDE (Promoting Responsibility, Interest and Direction in Education) award from PS 116.
The award was in recognition of the Association’s support and participation in fund raising activities that enhance neighborhood children’s education.
A relief fund for people assisting in the recovery after 9/11 was established.
More than $20,000 was raised to provide food, supplies, gifts and gift certificates to Murray Hill Fire and Police Department personnel and their families.
The Murray Hill Historic District
was designated by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. It included 88 buildings between Park and Lexington Avenues and 35th–38th Street. The designation of the historic district was achieved after more than 25 years of research and presentations by The Murray Hill Neighborhood Association’s Preservation & Design Committee to the LPC. Map
Grassroots Preservation Award.
The MHNA received the Historic Districts Council award in recognition of the more than 30-year effort to secure the Murray Hill Historic District designation by the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission.
J.P. Morgan Jr. Mansion was landmarked.
The building located at 231 Madison Avenue was designated as an individual landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. Built in 1852 for Isaac Newton Phelps, Banker and Real Estate and enlarged by R. H. Robertson in 1888, J. P. Morgan purchased this elaborate mansion from Mr. Phelps for his son, J. P. Jr., in 1904, where he lived until his death in 1943. It is now part of the Morgan Museum and Library, housing private spaces, offices and the Museum's gift shop. LPC Report
MECA (Manhattan East Community Association) joined with the MHNA.
MECA’s boundaries are 34th to 42nd Street from east of Third Avenue to the East River.
The Trees New York Award was given to the Murray Hill Neighborhood Association.
The award recognized the planting and maintenance of Murray Hill street trees for the benefit of the community and all New York City residents. The MHNA’s tree planting and stewardship efforts, tree pit gardening, tree guard installations and community activism serve as a model for other city neighborhoods. (the Trees New York newsletter)
Murray Hill Neighborhood Association branded litter baskets
were installed on 3rd Avenue, Lexington and Park Avenues, to motivate people to keep Murray Hill clean. MHNA president Diane Bartow led the project. The litter baskets were originally funded by a grant from New York State and arranged by State Senator Liz Krueger and Assembly Member Richard Gottfried.
The National Register of Historic Places
listed all of the structures in the Murray Hill Historic District, 88 contributing buildings.
The Murray Hill Historic District Extension
was designated by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. Twelve row houses were added. Map
Liz Krueger and Assembly Member Richard Gottfried.
The Murray Hill Neighborhood Association website
www.murrayhillnyc.org was launched.
The Murray Hill Neighborhood Association launched a special initiative to support neighborhood businesses.
A promotional card listing places to dine and shop in Murray Hill was created and placed in hotels and at Grand Central Terminal. The card was paid for by the businesses, with a major donation from Lord & Taylor.
The Murray Hill Neighborhood Association opposed demolition of the Sheraton Russell Hotel at 45 Park Avenue
(at 37th Street). Demonstrations were held in front of the hotel. Meetings with the owner and developer led to a modification of the design for the new building’s lower levels, so that they would be compatible with the historic streetscape.
The Allerton House 39th Street was landmarked.
The building located at 145 East 39th Street was designated as an individual landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. Built in 1916 and designed by Arthur Loomis Harmon, this hotel became the trademark style for the Allerton Club Hotel chain. This club hotel “provided socially respectable, economical housing for hard working refined ambitious young men.” In 1956, the building was purchased by the Salvation Army and was occupied as a reasonably-priced woman's residence until 2012, when it was renovated and a new frontage was installed for the Pod 39 Hotel, which is still operating. LPC Report
The MHNA joined the 34th Street Advocacy
to keep 34th Street two-way during the NYC Department of Transportation’s 34th Street Transitway planning. This two-year advocacy was spearheaded by MHNA trustees Marisa Bulzone and Enid Klass. Among the changes that were rejected was one making 34th Street one-way with eastbound traffic east of Fifth Avenue and westbound traffic west of Sixth Avenue. Several other alternatives were also opposed, including the installation of a streetcar, light rail, heavy rail, automated guideway transit and having a barricade down the center of 34th Street. These were all successfully defeated. Other alternatives that were considered were “no build,” TSM (Transit Systems Management) and BRT (bus rapid transit with elements of Select Bus Service SBS). BRT was chosen as the best alternative, as it includes faster and more reliable high quality surface transit, transit signal priority and more.
36 East 38th Street was landmarked.
The Beaux Arts Style Mansion was designated as an individual landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. Built in 1861, it was one of three handsome four-story row houses owned by shipping merchant, Charles Fox. It became the home of well-known shipbuilder Richard Poillon with his wife Mary and their children until her death in 1901. The home was purchased in 1902, by socially prominent Middleton S. and Emilie Burrill. They commissioned architects Hoppin & Koen to renovate and enlarge the home with an additional floor and a rear extension. A Beaux Arts style facade replaced the original brownstone frontage. The home became a multiple dwelling rooming house in 1929 and was converted into apartments in 1945. LPC Report
The Union League Club was landmarked
The building located at 38 East 37th Street was designated as an individual landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. Built in 1931, this building was designed by Benjamin Wistar Morris for the Union League Club. It stands on property once belonging to the family of J.P. Morgan. The club was founded in 1863 by prominent Republican men to help preserve the Union. Members include Theodore Roosevelt, J. Pierpont Morgan, John Jay, William Cullen Bryant, Chester A. Arthur, and Thomas Nast. The club occupied several other locations before moving to this building in 1931. Club members underwrote, recruited and trained African-American regiments during the Civil War and WWI. In 1937 the club welcomed Democrats to be members. In 1988 club membership was extended to include to women. The club still operates today as a private club. LPC Report
The National Register of Historic Places
listed buildings located in Murray Hill from Madison Avenue to Third Avenue and 34 to 39th Street. A total of 251 Murray Hill buildings are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. National Register of Historic Places Report
The Murray Hill Neighborhood Association participated in Jane’s Walk.
This annual event, launched by the Municipal Art Society in 2011, is a series of free neighborhood walking tours led by volunteers in all five boroughs. The event has grown to be international, and is now held in hundreds of cities around the world. Inspired by Jane Jacobs, urban activist and writer (1916-2006), the festivals take place the first weekend of May to coincide with her birthday. Every year, the MHNA continues to participate in Jane’s Walk.
The Preserving Historic Murray Hill illustrated brochure and map was created
to illustrate the Murray Hill Historic Districts, landmark buildings and the National Register of Historic Places boundaries. Brochure.
The MHNA joined The NYC Landmarks Alliance
a multi-year celebration of the 50th Anniversary of New York City's Landmark Law enacted by Mayor Robert Wagner. The Preservation & Design Committee organized the MHNA’s participation in this alliance of many New York City preservation groups.
The Murray Hill Neighborhood Association launched social media channels
The Murray Hill Neighborhood Association launched a digital newsletter and an active eblast program.
Technology has enabled more timely and frequent communications with members and with those who have signed up for the Association’s emails, and has broadened the MHNA’s outreach.
The Historic Landmarks Preservation Center installed Cultural Medallions on three buildings in Historic Murray Hill to honor notable New Yorkers
who lived in them. Cultural Medallions were installed on the residences of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt who were later to become President and human rights activist respectively (125 East 36th Street), illustrator Charles Dana Gibson (111 East 35th Street), and actors Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn (113 East 35th Street). The Murray Hill Neighborhood Association Preservation & Design Committee spearheads the Cultural Medallion program for our neighborhood, fundraises for it, and recommends candidates for medallions.
A DVD and streaming video of the Walking tour of Historic Murray Hill were produced.
The DVD and video are available for purchase on the website catalog. Robin Garr is the tour guide. Produced by The Murray Hill Neighborhood Association’s Preservation & Design Committee, Videotex Global Networks and Edge City Design, LLC. Filmed, directed and edited by Edge City Design, LLC.
The MHNA was honored with the Apple Award for Outstanding Achievement in Support of NYC Preservation.
This award was given to The Murray Hill Neighborhood Association Preservation & Design Committee by the Guides Association of New York City. The P&D committee’s achievements that earned the award were the new DVD of the Murray Hill walking tour, the live walking tours throughout the year, their work with the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission to get landmark designation for additional buildings in Murray Hill, and the program to install Cultural Medallions on buildings in the neighborhood. Four buildings in the neighborhood now have cultural medallions. Susan Demmet, co-chair of the P&D committee accepted the award.
cleaning program was renamed to Keep Murray Hill Clean and redesigned to provide social media networking, digital sign-up sheets, rebranded starter kits with grabbers, safety vests, masks, gloves and bags to people who volunteer. The Murray Hill Neighborhood Association’s Green & Clean Committee organized this effort with support from New York City Councilmember Keith Powers and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer. The Association of Community Employment Programs for the Homeless (ACE) will help by doing regular cleaning on the busier avenues. Funding for the ACE workers is provided by the City.
A Cultural Medallion honoring the life and work of architects William Delano and Chester Aldrich
was dedicated on May 26, 2021 at 126 East 38th Street. In 1903 William Delano and Chester Aldrich established one of the leading architectural firms of the early 20th century. They moved their offices to 126 East 38th Street in 1916, and here they created more than 500 designs and alterations, including the Colony Club and Union Club in New York City and the American Embassy in Paris. The MHNA’s P&D Committee collaborates with The Historic Landmarks Preservation Center to install Cultural Medallions in Murray Hill.
The lobby at 200 Madison Avenue is designated a New York City interior landmark.
The neo-Renaissance lobby is inside the vaulted arcade that spans the building between East 35th and East 36th Streets. Built in the 1920s by the architecture firm Warren and Wetmore, the lobby’s gilded and ornate aesthetic includes patterned terrazzo floors and marble walls. The arched bays along the ceiling are filled with floral mosaics, animal medallions and projecting lion heads...A large saucer dome decorated with griffins and dragons caps the south end of the arcade. LPC release.
Patrons of Park Avenue (POPA) installed the inaugural art installation on the Murray Hill malls on Park Avenue with sculptures by world-renowned artist, Idriss B.
The iconic colorful, polygonal shaped animal sculptures that inhabit Park Avenue from 34th to 38th Street will be there from Feburary 2022 to February 2023. The Zoo on Park Avenue is done with the cooperation of the NYC Parks Art in the Parks program. Learn more.