The I’s have it in northern Manhattan, where seemingly everywhere you go, something begins with an I. There’s Inwood, the neighborhood; Inwood Hill Park; Isham Park; and Indian Road, which runs two blocks (actually a very short block and a much longer block) from West 214th to W. 218th Streets one block west of Seaman Avenue and 4 blocks west of Broadway.
Northern Manhattan didn’t “gell” as a neighborhood until the early 20th Century as the Hudson-side large estates were sold off and became Fort Tryon and Inwood Hill Parks. The street layout wasn’t finalized until the 1910s and into the 1920s, and Indian Road, which borders Inwood Hill Park and grants the apartment houses lining it a great view of the Hudson, doesn’t show up on maps (at least the ones I have access to) until the 1920s.
Indian Road. The trees at left are in Inwood Hill Park.
Indian Gardens, West 215th and Indian Road. The road is so named because relics and artifacts by the Rechgawawanc and Weekweskeek Indians, associated with the Lenape, were discovered during excavations in the area, and the road is believed to follow an ancient trail.
Rather amazingly, Indian Road is the only thoroughfare on the island of Manhattan named “Road.” Another “Road,” River Road, is on Roosevelt Island.
Homer Young Kennedy was a longtime caretaker of Inwood Hill Park.
A welcome newer addition to the area on Indian Road and West 218th is the ‘eponymous’ restaurant Indian Road Café.
Across the street is the entrance to Inwood Hill Park, which contains Manhattan’s last old-growth forest, as well as views of the Hudson River, Henry Hudson Bridge, and the Big Columbia C.
Join us on ForgottenTour #57 in Inwood and Inwood Hill Park, Saturday, August 11th. Meet at noon at Dyckman Street and Broadway — take the A train to the 200th/Dyckman stop.