Untapped Cities took us on a trip last month on New York City’s Interior Landmarks and gave us a peek at some The Bronx’s very own special gems and here’s what they wrote. Be sure to check out the link at the end to see others in our beautiful borough as well as throughout the rest of New York City.
1. Bartow-Pell Mansion
The Bartow-Pell Mansion has an illustrious history dating back from before American Independence. In 1654, Thomas Pell signed a treaty with the Siwanoy Indians for the rights to 9,000 acres in what is now the Bronx and Lower Westchester. The treaty was signed under Bartow-Pell’s Treaty Oak, a giant white oak on the property that became the only tree to have an obituary on the front page of the New York Times when it died in 1906.
The property was passed on (and sometimes sold and re-acquired) through the generations until its current mansion was built by Robert Bartow between 1836 and 1842. In 1888, New York City purchased the estate as part of Pelham Bay Park. In 1914, the International Garden Club adopted the mansion as its clubhouse, restored the interior, and installed gardens, eventually opening the museum to the public in 1946.
2. Loew’s Paradise Theatre
Photo by Larry Lederman via NYSID
The Loew’s Paradise Theater is one of the five Loew’s Wonder Theatres, opened on September 7, 1929. The Paradise’s auditorium was inspired by a 16th century Italian Baroque garden. See more architectural gems along the Bronx’s Grand Concourse. Today is it used as a church and meeting facility.
3. Van Cortlandt Mansion
Van Cortlandt House was built in 1748 and served as headquarters for George Washington and the family vault was the hideaway for the city’s municipal records during the war. The house was New York City’s first historic house museum.
4. Bronx General Post Office
The Bronx General Post Office was constructed between 1935 and 1937 and designed by Thomas Harlan Ellett and Louis A. Simon. The gray brick building almost camouflages into the streetscape but its real treasure lies inside, where there are thirteen murals by Ben Shahn and Bernarda Bryson Shahn. The paintings were inspired by Walt Whitman’s poem I Hear America Singing. As the United States Postal Service struggles amid massive debt, it has started selling off its real estate, and this building was sold to a developer in 2014.
See more interior landmarks in the Bronx here.