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Gramercy Park

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Gramercy Park, situated in mid-Manhattan, has upheld its status as an exclusive residential block reminiscent of Old London. Many marvel at its beauty and elegance of design. Bounded by East 21st and East 22nd Streets, Park Avenue South and Third Avenue, Gramercy Park, named for the oldest private park in the United States, is an historic oasis in the middle of Manhattan. The park itself is the centerpiece of the neighborhood of tree-lined streets with a variety of 19th century residents – 1840s row houses and brownstones to Victorian era Queen Anne’s and neo-Gothic’s. Gramercy Park was originally a swamp. In 1831 Samuel B. Ruggles, an advocate of open spaces brought what was then farmland from James Duane. Ruggles gave 42 lots of property to the First Board of Trustees for the development of a private park. He stipulated that no commercial enterprise be permitted on the facing streets or in the park proper. To this day, Gramercy Park contains no amusements, swing sets, snack shops or any other activity of a commercial nature. Residents of the community enjoy the park by being able to purchase a key at allows entry. One day per year, the park is opened to the general public. In the 1840s and 1850s, during the initial period of the development of the neighborhood, the streets of Gramercy Park became solidly lined with brick and brownstone row houses and mansions. Sam Ruggles laid out Irving Place, named for his friend Washington Irving. He also laid out Lexington Avenue. In time, leading New Yorkers all came to live on the square or in neighboring streets. President John F. Kennedy even lived there as a boy. President Theodore Roosevelt was born a half block on East 20th Street. Gramercy Park has been home to many distinguished New Yorkers and retains, for the most part, its old world elegance.

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