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Neighborhood Walk: Murray Hill's Landmarks
All Articles > Neighborhood Walk: Murray Hill's Landmarks

Neighborhood Walk: Murray Hill's Landmarks

Neighborhood Walk: Murray Hill's Landmarks


May 12, 2016 | By Dan Bamberger & Aaron Gordon


 

Murray Hill’s a small neighborhood steeped in history. It’s one of the things that most struck with me when I moved here years ago. So much so, in fact, that one of our very first Bamberger Reports was a Hill-ite historical write-up.


But there’s a difference between reading up on Murray Hill founders Robert and Mary Murray and say, walking the plot of land on which they lived (it stretched from 33rd Street to 39th Street and between Madison and Lexington Avenues).


So to bridge that finite gap between learning and living, we’ve put together a handy walking tour of the neighborhood, exclusively for those seeking out nearby historical landmarks.

(Courtesy of MHNA)

Take a look below.

For the rock fan- A picture at Sniffen Court


A former horse stable turned subtle residential row, Sniffen Court’s row of red-brick townhouses and narrow stone road make it Instagram-ready for any fan of NYC architecture. But it’s a little less low-key than the average pedestrian-only street. The cover shot for “Strange Days,” the integral album by American rock icons The Doors, was shot at the entrance on 36th street between 3rd Avenue and Lex, making it a must-see for rock fans all over the world.


Why we love it: We’d be lying if we said the Jim Morrison connection wasn’t a draw.

For hobby-nuts- The Collectors Club of New York


Nestled in a row of brownstones on 35th between Madison and Park, the 19th century house is home to a members-only club dedicated to the study of philately, with a massive library to boot. Though the public may be excluded from the stamp conversation going on inside, the exterior view is just as pleasant. With its massive white windows, the three story building could easily be found in a London neighborhood.


Why we love it: Nestled between brownstones and a midrise, the club gives the impression of a stumbled-upon home from another time.

For the culture seekers- The Morgan Library & Museum


Its popularity makes it an obvious choice, but we can’t ever stress enough the cultural value the Morgan Library and Museum, opened to the public in 1924, brings to Murray Hill. Originally home to JP Morgan’s private collection, the Library hosts talks, readings, art exhibitions and cultural events year-round, on topics ranging from medieval literature to Warhol. The intricately decorated reading room gives the space an added sense of history.


Why we love it: Despite the visitor bustle and constant events, the library is one of the rare corners in the city that has a simultaneous sense of tranquility, knowledge and longevity. It’s just a good place to go think.

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For the socialite- The Union League Club

 

It has counted three U.S. presidents among its members and steeped in political intrigue and controversy, but the Union League Club is also a stone’s throw away. Since opening its Murray Hill doors at 38 East 37th Street in 1930, the imposing building has been offering members of New York’s elite bankers, politicians and cultural icons a respite from hectic city life.

 

Why we love it: Imagine the conversations that have taken place beyond the doors.

For a sense of spirituality- The Church of Our Savior

 

We took a visit to the Roman Catholic institution on 38th Street and Park when we were researching our article on religion in the neighborhood. It’s a trip we highly recommend, even for the nonreligious. Built in 1955, there’s a real sense that people have come together in the space, whether for a larger purpose or to find peace in the beautiful interior.

 

Why we love it: An aesthetic and mental break from the urban and commercial-driven landmarks that dominate the Murray Hill landscape.

For our Vets- The Soldiers’, Sailors’, Coast Guard & Airmens’ Club

 

The white, low building is a classic piece of Murray Hill architecture. But it’s also the only private organization in the New York area to provide the men and women of our armed forces with discounted and affordable accommodation and kitchen services. Established in 1919, millions of our military personnel have stopped here during their Manhattan stays. For us, that’s a source of pride.


Why we love it: We’re very proud to be home to the only private organization in New York that accommodates our vets at affordable rates right here in Murray Hill.

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