UPPER WEST SIDE
Story of the Neighborhood . . .
Settled by Dutch immigrants in the early seventeenth century, the Upper West Side was a suburb until after the Civil War, when settlers started to migrate north from lower Manhattan. Today, the area is known for its beautifully restored brownstones and appealing architectural buildings, such as the residential building, The Dakota. Built in late nineteenth century, The Dakota’s playful name was part of a joke that the building was so far away from downtown Manhattan it might as well have been in the Dakotas. The neighborhood's boundaries—Central Park to the east and Riverside Park, which runs along the Hudson River to the west—make it a great area for families and visitors seeking a slower pace. Columbus Circle, the gateway to the Upper West Side, is home to The Museum of Art and Design, whose mission is to show the intersection of artist and designer. Central to Columbus Circle is The Time Warner Center, where The Mandarin Oriental Hotel and some of the most luxurious dining destinations in the world, such as Per Se and Masa, can be found.
Central Park is the most-visited urban park in the United States and one of the most-filmed locations in the world. Opportunities for learning and exploration are also found along the edge of Central Park with The Society for Ethical Culture, The American Museum of Natural History and The New York Historical Society.
The Upper West Side has long maintained a rich cultural constituency, attracting people from all over to the neighborhood’s prestigious academic institutions. Columbia University, an Ivy League established in 1754, was one of the fourteen founding members of the Association of American Universities. The elite institution moved to its current Morningside Heights location in the Upper West Side in 1896.