Among the several neighborhoods of New York City, Harlem is one of the most historic and liveliest of all.
Speaking of Harlem, many get nostalgic. Harlem consists of legendary nightspots like the Cotton Club, where the place used to get filled with jazz by great musicians. Harlem also brings out the memories of the ghetto: dirty and crime-ridden.
Though Harlem is still a bit rough with poverty and litter, Harlem has entered a new era today. The streets are now safe. Also, much of Harlem’s historic architecture has been restored.
The place is now filled with new restaurants and stores, all showing a vibrant and diverse community while managing to maintain its unique culture. The best thing to do in Harlem, to get the rich taste of diversity, is to take a walking tour. You can enjoy the places and wonder at them walking past them.
You can always connect with us for the best walking tours in Harlem. Now, let’s take a quick look into the walking route and how the tour will be like.
The tour focuses on Central Harlem. It is the historic center of African-American culture in New York. Now let’s take a quick glance into the tour
Take the 2 or 3 subway to the 135th Street
One of the first African-American enclaves of Harlem is located in 135th Street to the west of Harlem. It is here that the legendary Philip A. Bayton began offering apartments to New York’s black citizens, thus breaking the color barrier that was prevalent in earlier times.
This walking route is full of buildings and architecture that hold immense historic value. You’ll come across a large brick building which is the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. This is the nation’s research library about the African people and their culture.
The Abyssinian Baptist Church at 132 W. 138th Street
The Abyssinian church was founded by African-American and Ethiopian merchants in 1808. This is one of the nation’s oldest African-American congregations.
The Abyssinian has played a major role in social justice and economic development in Harlem. However, the church is almost always closed to the public. You can only enter this church by attending a Sunday service.
Turn left onto Strivers Row at Adam Clayton and 139th Street
This is where there is the two-block stretch of row houses. The two unique features of these row houses are elegance and unified designs. On top of that, there are private alleys behind each row.
The row on the north side of 139th Street was designed by the architect Stanford White.
The homes were built in 1891 but remained uninhabited until the 1920s when the affluent African-Americans bought them.
You can now wander along the block to Frederick Douglass Blvd. A block and a half away is St. Nicholas Park. This park is built on the massive ridge of Manhattan bedrock separating Harlem Heights from the plain of Harlem.
The Historic Harlem YMCA at 135th Street
This 135th street was once house to legendary writers like Claude McKay, Ralph Ellison, and Langston Hughes.
When you take a look inside the lobby you’ll get to see the famous mural; “The Evolution of Negro Dance” by Aaron Douglas. This mural remains unprotected in a children’s playroom.
There are several places to see and enjoy in Harlem, all of which can’t be described in this limited span. All we have provided is a short description of what your Harlem walking tour will comprise. There are a lot of other significant places such as Shine Bar/Restaurant, Lafayette Theater., etc. all of which bear the rich and diverse history of what Harlem is.
A walk across Harlem is the best way to enjoy the rich and diverse history of Harlem. Just remember that there are two more Harlem: the East or the Spanish Harlem and West Harlem.
But if you are looking to join in a walk along Central Harlem, we can provide you with the best Walking Tours in Harlem, and you can always connect with us for the best deals.