Sugar Hill

The New York Times has an interesting article about living in Sugar Hill. Sugar Hill is located in the Harlem section of Manhattan. Sugar Hill was the home of many prominent African Americans including W.E.B Du Bois, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway and Walter White during the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920’s and 1930’s.


The section of Upper Manhattan known as Sugar Hill, poised on a bluff overlooking the Harlem Plain and distinguished by graceful rowhouses and elegant apartment buildings, achieved renown in the 1930s and 1940s, when it was home to prominent African-American professionals, political leaders, artists, musicians and writers. The song “Take the ‘A’ Train,” written by Billy Strayhorn and popularized by Duke Ellington, commemorated the neighborhood, where both lived. Nowadays, though, some newcomers say they had not heard the name Sugar Hill before they arrived.

Some people consider Sugar Hill — likely named for the sweet life its affluent residents were thought to enjoy in its heyday — to extend from 135th to 162nd Streets and between Edgecombe and Amsterdam Avenues. The three Sugar Hill historic districts are in a smaller area, from 145th Street to 155th Street and between Edgecombe and Amsterdam.

“A lot of times Sugar Hill is more of a state of mind than a real location, so you can have a lot of different opinions,” said Don Moses, a real estate consultant with Exit Realty Landmark who specializes in the area. Most buyers, he said, “are driven by price, first and foremost.”

But what they end up discovering is an architecturally striking neighborhood with a rich culture tied to the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and 1930s and “a sense of community,” Mr. Moses said.

Check out the entire article here at the New York Times.

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