MacDougal–Sullivan Gardens Historic District

I'm sure after you read the title of this post you thought "wowowowow,what's going on in here?!"

Today, I would like to share with you something very unique you can (partially) see in the heart of the Greenwich Village.

I'm sure there are many spots you'd like to visit in this beautiful neighborhood, but this location has to be on your bucket list!

A few days ago, I was walking on MacDougal Street with my wife (@theinsta) and bumped into these absolutely wonderful and colorful townhouses!

It doesn't happen very often, at least here in New York, to see red, pinlk, blue, orange townhouses next to each and with the view of the Freedom Tower in the background!

MacDougal–Sullivan Gardens Historic District, West Village, Manhattan, May 2020

(If you'd like to support our work and would like to purchase this photo, please click here! Any help would be hugely appreciated!)

I honestly had no idea why these amazing townhouses were there and what story was hiding behding those colors.

Hence, I speny some time researching some interesting facts about this street and those townhouses and share them with you now.

Please, bear in mind the goal of my blog is not to give you a deep dive into the history of New York. Nonetheless, I think knowing a few interesting things about a location could inspire you to do additional investigations in your own free time!

To start with, this street is famous for the presence of Caffe Reggio, the place that claims to have brought the first cappuccino to America! I hope with the current pandemic proble, they are doing well, New York wouldn't be the same without them!

This street is named after Alexander McDougall. Notice how his name has a different spelling than the street itself! He was a Scottish born representative of New York state, a merchant, and Revolutionary War military leader.

The MacDougal–Sullivan Gardens Historic District is a small historic district consisting of 21 houses located at 74–96 MacDougal Street and 170–188 Sullivan Street between Houston and Bleecker Streets.

- 11 townhomes on MacDougal Street and

- 10 on Sullivan Street.

The townhomes along MacDougal are also referred to as “Rainbow Row,” due to the alternating colors on each townhouse exterior.

The houses were built in 1844 (MacDougal Street) and 1850 (Sullivan Street) by Low's estate. They were bought in 1920 by William Sloane Coffin Sr. who engaged architects Francis Y. Joannes and Maxwell Hyde. They re-faced the buildings in Colonial Revival style. They removed all the buildings' stoops, altered the doorways and entrances to the basement level, and combined the rear yards to make a common garden. That's the part we can't unfortuantely see without the help of Google Maps or without paying for a tour.

MacDougal Street, Greenwich Village, Manhattan, New York

The houses were sold to individual owners in 1924, with the integrity of the project maintained by the MacDougal–Sullivan Gardens Association

The district was designated a New York City landmark in 1967 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.

Another interesting fact, for those of you passionate of real estate: one of these townhouses, more precisely 83 MacDougal Street) was on the market in 2019 for $12.5 million!

Last but not least, for other interesting locations you should visit in the West Village, don't forget to check my "Neighborhoods" section -> West Village.

Other interesting related links:

- Wikipedia


- The Atlantic

Talk soon,


P.S. Do you have other interesting information you think I should add to this post? Please, please, please email me!

Have you ever lived here and feel like being interviewed so that we could share your story? Please, please, and please, email me!

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