The 2012 Riverside Oval Calendar: Views of the Heights

Contrasting with the 2011 calendar that focused on contemporary photographs of the Audubon Park Historic District by Paula Winograd, the 2012 Riverside Oval calendar has 14 historic photographs of the neighborhood and surrounding area covering the years 1890 to 1940. The calendar is wall-sized and costs $10 ($2.50 for shipping and handling if necessary). All proceeds benefit the Riverside Oval Association and its community improvement activities.

The Photographs
The photographs in the 2012 calendar come from the collections of the Museum of the City of New York, the New York Public Library, and New York City’s Municipal Archives. Covering the period between the 1890s and 1940, the images show the neighborhood’s transformation from a rural landscape to an urban cityscape, largely devoid of trees. Several present-day photographs on the back of the calendar illustrate that the abundance of trees planted along city streets in the last decade has made the area greener than it has been in a more than a century.

The Riverside Oval Association
The Riverside Oval Association is a neighborhood group that seeks to improve the environment and increase the sense of community among the people living in the blocks west of Broadway, between 155th and 160th streets. This is the fifth annual calendar that the Association has produced to raise funds for its activities, which include gardening, installing tree guards, and holding public events such as an annual party to celebrate the birthday of John James Audubon, whose farm “Minnie’s Land” once covered a major portion of the Audubon Park Historic District.

As a result of funds allocated by City Council Member Robert Jackson, the Riverside Oval (Charles and Murray Gordon Memorial Park) is to have a new curbstone and fence. In preparation for this welcome upgrade, Christina Read and Paul Kittas organized a group of local residents, who cleaned out old vegetation and began a long-term re-landscaping for the Oval.

Order Your Calendar!
To order calendars: Email, call (917) 301-1120, or write to V. Ducat, 790 Riverside Drive, Apt. 12A, New York, NY 10032. Please write checks to: Washington-Heights Inwood Coalition (the Riverside Oval Association’s fiscal conduit).

List of photographs
Cover: Riverside Drive Viaduct north of 155th Street
January: 820 Riverside Drive, located on the “Upper Drive,” north of 158th Street (1921)
February: Trinity Cemetery suspension bridge over Broadway (1895)
March: 780 and 788 Riverside Drive (1923?)
April: Day Star Baptist Church, 516-520 West 157th Street (1932)
May: Looking south from 159th Street (1927)
June: American Numismatic Society (interior), Joan of Arc exhibit, (1913)
July: B. S. Moss Hamilton Theatre, 146th Street and Broadway (circa 1900)
August: Riverside Drive West, looking south from 161st Street (1941)
September: 151st Street and Hudson River looking south (1908)
October: John Woodhouse Audubon house, built 1853 and remodeled by the second owner, Julia Gould Jerome, after 1864 (circa 1890)
November: 155th Street viaduct and Macomb’s Dam Bridge (1899)
December: 158th Street between the two Riverside Drives (1936)
January 2013: Audubon Terrace Complex (1919)
Back cover: Before and after photographs comparing some of the historic images with the same locations today