This is a map from 1867. The shapes on this map are obviously houses. These are wood fame houses, stone or brick structures would be indicated with a reddish color. The house and piece of property labeled M.T. Brennan became the home of Isidor and Ida Straus, who were lost on the Titanic. The Straus's purchased the"old country home" and land in 1884. Matthew T. Brennan, a volunteer fireman who became a city official and allied himself with William M. (Boss) Tweed. When investigations began to expose the Tweed Ring in 1871, it was said that Brennan, Who had become Sheriff, had collected $150,000 in fees for escorting 5,627 prisoners to prison, when in fact there had not been more than 340 prisoners. ''Who Would Not be a Sheriff?'' The New York Times headlined. The 1866 house, which was one of the last of the country homes to be built on the upper west side, contained the first cast iron bathtub in the United States. The house was torn down the year after the Titanic sunk and was replaced by 924 West End Avenue.
On the lower left corner of block 1891 is stone, not brick, house owned by a family named Bacon. That is the site of 320 Riverside Drive. The lower left corner of block 1890 is the mansion that was the original 310 Riverside Drive.
This is a map from 1916. The Bacon House is still there on 104th and Riverside but stone and brick get the same color now. The brownstones that repalced the Dixon house have been replaced by the recently constructed "Mentone" or 895 West End Avenue. The original 310 Riverside still stands across from the newly built "Clearfield" or 305 Riverside Drive. Just south of the "Clearfield" is the original 300 Riverside Drive, the Foster mansion.
This is the original 310 Riverside Drive.
This is 1879 and the retaining wall is being constructed with Manhattan Schist, the bedrock on which we can build such tall buildings on this island. The rock was probably cut on site and I am guessing but the break there in the wall is for the staircase at 103rd street, but the caption for this photo is "looking north at 104th street and Riverside Drive".
designed by Martin V.B. Ferdon. The row on the south side were designed by Clarence True. Clarence True is considered to be one of the Godfathers of the upper westside. Clarence True was an architect who was also a developer. He built 100's of speculative houses on the upper westside. He started in the office of Richard Upjohn, who designed (amongst other famous New York City landmarks) the 1846 Trinity Church on Wall Street. When Clarence True had an office, he employed a young William Van Alen who went on to design the Chrysler Building. You can draw a line from Richard Upjohn to William Van Alen. Pretty cool.
This looking north on the Riverside Drive service road from 104th street. The house on the right is part of the Bacon house. All of these would be demolished very soon in order to add the current 320 Riverside Drive to the cityscape. Was it worth the visual cost? "We will be judged not by what we have built . . . but what we have destroyed".