Seneca Village was a small, rural community located between
82nd and 89th Streets, and 7th and 8th Avenues. It existed from
1825 - 1857 until it was closed to make way for the building
of Central Park.
It remained largely unknown until The People & the Park was published in 1992.
The first official resident of Seneca Village was an African
American man, by the name of Andrew Williams, who purchased property there
in 1825. Williams was to be the first of many African American property
owners in Seneca Village. By 1855, the multi-ethnic community had
grown to approximately 300 citizens of African, Irish, and German descent.
The following is an excerpt from an issue of the New
York TimesWednesday, May 26,1856:
CENTRAL PARK LANDS - The measures taken in reference to the opening of Central Park, have produced quite a commotion among property-holders within the proposed limits. Some complain that the awards made them are not equal to what, in justice, they are entitled; but most of them, doubtless, could truly say that the sums named fall short of their expectations. There being an uncertainty as to the actual period when the work of "laying out" will commence, and in order to secure to the city all the revenue available from this source, the various tenements and lands on the new Park grounds, have been rented as far as practicable and on the best possible terms, for the period of one year from the first of the present month; the Corporation reserving the right to enter upon possession of the premises, on giving ninety days notice.
Begin Seneca Village Walking Tour >>>