Second Stop: Gargoyles and Lobbies

After starting off at a prominent building at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, you may want to take a detour to appreciate the architecture of the residence buildings in the neighborhood. If you’re pressed for time, you can skip on to the third stop, by simply walking north to West 116th from the Cathedral to Columbia University.

We recommend this stop if you’d love to view the neo-Renaissance apartment buildings Morningside Heights is home to. The buildings feature marble lobbies, town houses with stained-glass windows and elegant accouterments that were built to set the style for the homes of the rich that were built later along Park and Fifth Avenues. The apartment buildings in the area feature beautiful marble lobbies that are extravagant and luxurious.

The Hamilton’s entrance at West 114th Street, at 420 Riverside Drive, features a huge elegant marble lobby with beautiful stained glass windows recently recreated by one of the building’s resident owners welcomes all who enter. Even the internal halls are carefully appointed, with original wrought iron railings and marble steps.

Equally impressive are the grand lobbies at The Ramona, located at 528 West 111th Street between Amsterdam Ave and Broadway; and The Rockfall, located at 545 West 111th Street, between Amsterdam Ave and Broadway.

The building facades of Morningside are just impressive, with The Britannia, at 527 West 110th Street, and its gargoyles on its second floor balconies. The building, built in 1909, is divided into two wings and features two rows of fantastic gargoyles below the second floor balconies. The gargoyles were created to be “symbolic of some form of the homely art of housekeeping,” and at only ten feet up or so, any passerby can appreciate their design.

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From here, your tour continues to the prestigious Columbia University Campus, by walking north along Amsterdam Avenue up to West 116th Street, and entering the gates.

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