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The History of Manhattan Valley, NY

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The worker's compensation attorneys in Manhattan Valley, NY, from Banville Law offer the following article for your educational enjoyment.

Manhattan Valley History

Manhattan Valley, formerly known as the Bloomingdale District, is located in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, New York. Its boundaries include Central Park West, West 96th Street, 110th Street, and Broadway.

Early History

The Dutch settlers gave the area the name Bloemendaal, which would later convert to Bloomingdale. It consisted of villages and farmland until the 19th Century when the New York City Subway expansion allowed people to get to the area easier. Initially, the population consisted of German and Irish immigrants. However, in the 1950s, there was a surge in migrants from Puerto Rico, driving residents into the outer suburbs.


In the 1950 and 1960s, the Manhattan Valley area began to fall into disrepair. By this time, most middle-class residents had moved to the suburbs, and landlords left the building structures to crumble without repairs. Urban Renewal planner Robert Moses led the project to level several blocks and build the Frederick Douglas Houses. This effort to better the area backfired and caused a lack of resources for an overpopulated low-income area. The crime in the 60s was at an all-time high.


The recovery of the area would come in the 1980s, with the Wall Street boom. The Manhattan Valley Development Corporation was created in 1968 and sought to renovate rather than demolish the historical buildings. The organization stood up for the low-income minority residents, protecting them from aggressive management companies, and promoted small businesses.

In the 1990s, the Columbus Amsterdam business improvement district was developed. This organization's main goal was to provide assistance to the residents with entrepreneurial opportunities.


The population in Manhattan Valley in 2000 was 48,983. This heavily diverse area has 55% living with very low-income, making 50% bringing in less than $13,854. The ethnic makeup is as follows:

  • 44% Hispanic or Latino
  • 32% African American
  • 24% Asian, white, and other races

Historical Landmarks

  • Fredrick Douglass Circle - located at Central Park West and West 110th Street
  • Church fo the Ascension - located at West 107th Street between Amsterdam Ave and Broadway
  • Straus Park - located at West 106th Street and Broadway

Fun Fact

A fun fact about the area, former United States President Barack Obama rented an apartment while attending school at Columbia University. The location of the apartment was 142 West 109th Street, between Amsterdam Ave and Columbus Ave.

Continue reading related articles on The History of Yorkville.

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If you have been injured while on the job, you may be entitled to compensation. At Banville Law, our Manhattan Valley, NY, workers' compensation attorneys will represent your case. Call our office today for a free consultation.

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Laurence P. Banville
Date Published: April 26, 2021
Laurence P. Banville is the managing partner of Banville Law. As an experienced personal injury attorney, Mr. Banville helps clients recover compensation from those responsible for his clients' injuries. Our firm is located in New York City, serving clients from the five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island.
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