Lamartine Place district in Chelsea designated

New historic district in Chelsea consists of twelve rowhouses and includes Underground Railroad stop. Landmarks voted to designate as the Lamartine Place Historic District twelve rowhouses located at 333 through 359 West 29th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues, Manhattan. William Torrey and Cyrus Mason built the three-and-a-half story Greek Revival rowhouses between 1846 and 1847 on what was then known as Lamartine Place.

James S. Gibbons and his wife, Abigail Hopper Gibbons, a renowned abolitionist, purchased the building at 337 West 29th Street in 1851. A short time later the Gibbons family also purchased the house next door at 339 West 29th Street. Family friend Joseph Hodges Choate cited 339 as being a stop on the Underground Railroad, noting that he dined with the Gibbons and a fugitive slave at the residence in 1855. Several homes on Lamartine Place were damaged during the Draft Riots of 1863, including 339 and a rowhouse at 335 owned by the New York Tribune editor Samuel Sinclair.

In addition to the damage suffered during the riots, the buildings have undergone significant alterations. At the turn of the century the houses received projecting cornices, and the roofs of eleven of the buildings have been raised to accommodate a full fourth story.

At a January 13 public hearing, elected officials, residents, preservationists, and historians broadly supported the proposed designation. 6 CityLand 9 (Feb. 15, 2009). On October 13, Landmarks voted unanimously to designate the buildings as a historic district. Landmarks chair Robert B. Tierney acknowledged the efforts of the community in advocating for designation and praised Lamartine Place for its “highly dramatic” and “enormously important history.”

LPC: Lamartine Place Historic District, Manhattan (LP-2324) (Oct. 13, 2009).

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