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Wave Hill (New York)

Wave Hill
Main entrance
Wave Hill
Location 675 W. 252nd St., Bronx, New York

40°53′55″N 73°54′47″W / 40.89861°N 73.91306°W / 40.89861; -73.91306Coordinates: 40°53′55″N 73°54′47″W / 40.89861°N 73.91306°W / 40.89861; -73.91306

Area 20.9 acres (8.5 ha)
Built 1843
Architect Multiple
Architectural style Colonial Revival, Greek Revival
Governing body Local
NRHP Reference # 83001646[1]
Added to NRHP September 9, 1983

For other uses, see Wave Hill (disambiguation).

Wave Hill is a 28 acre (11 ha) estate, consisting of public gardens and a cultural center, in the Hudson Hill section of the Riverdale neighborhood of the Bronx in New York City. It is situated on the slopes overlooking the Hudson River and the New Jersey Palisades. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the estate includes two houses and a botanical garden. Contemporary visual arts exhibits are on display in the Glyndor Gallery, as well as outside on the grounds.


The original Wave Hill House was a gray fieldstone mansion built in 1843 by lawyer William Lewis Morris.[2] It was owned from 1866 to 1903 by publisher William Henry Appleton, who enlarged the house in between 1866 and 1869 and again in 1890, and added greenhouses and gardens to the grounds.[2] During these years, the house was visited by Thomas Henry Huxley, who helped Charles Darwin bring evolution to the public's attention. Theodore Roosevelt's family rented Wave Hill during the summers of 1870 and 1871, and Mark Twain leased it from 1901 to 1903.[3]

The house was purchased in 1903 by George Walbridge Perkins, a partner of J. P. Morgan, along with adjacent property, including Glyndor, a house built by the Harriman family in 1888, which later burned down and was rebuilt in 1927.[2] In 1910 Perkins added an underground building for recreation which included a bowling alley.[2] Perkins performed extensive landscaping on the site, and leased Wave Hill House itself to an eminent ichthyologist, Bashford Dean of the American Museum of Natural History, who built a stone addition to the building as a private museum, Armor Hall.

Other famous residents of the estate included the conductor Arturo Toscanini (1942–1945) and chief members of the British Delegation to the United Nations (1950–1956).[2] In 1960, at the suggestion of Robert Moses, the Perkins-Freeman family deeded Wave Hill to the City of New York.[2] In 1983 the estate was added to the roster of the National Register of Historic Places.[1]

In 2005, Wave Hill was among 406 New York City arts and social service institutions to receive part of a $20 million grant from the Carnegie Corporation, which was made possible through a donation by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.[4][5]


The special features of Wave Hill's gardens include:

  • Perennial Flower Garden
  • The Marco Polo Stufano Conservatory
  • Pergola and vistas of the Hudson River and the New Jersey Palisades
  • Wild Garden
  • Aquatic & Monocot Garden
  • Alpine House
  • Woodland, 10 acres (40,000 m²) of native second-growth forest with a woodland path that stretches around the perimeter of the property
  • Special Collections, including the Shade Border, Elliptical Garden and Conifer Slope
  • Beekeeping

See also

  • List of botanical gardens in the United States


Further reading

External links

  • Wave Hill

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