The Murray Hill District was made up of two groups of buildings, including 71 row houses, three apartment buildings, an architectural office, and a church, all located between East 35th and East 38th streets, from Park Avenue to Lexington Avenue. The culmination of these buildings serves as a reminder of Murray Hill’s history as a one of New York city’s premier residential districts. Murray Hill was primarily built between 1853 and 1910.
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The name Murray comes from the Murray family. The Murray family were 18th-century Quaker merchants who dealt primarily in shipping and overseas trade. The family patriarch, Robert Murray, was born 1721 in County Armagh Ireland and later immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1732, then moved to New York in 1753. Murray made a name for himself as a merchant, going on to become a New Yorker with the most shipping tonnage. Around 1762 Murray acquired land from the city for a grand house and farm. His grand house, named Inclenberg, but more popularly known as Murray Hill, was built on what is known today as Park Avenue and 36th Street.
Murray descendants later drew up the Murray Hill Restrictive Agreement in 1847 which restricted development to brick or stone residences, churches, and private stables. The area’s development was driven in the 1850s due to the New York and Harlem Railroad tracks, (running along Fourth, now Park Avenue), were covered with a tunnel and plans were made known to create a forty-foot wide mall adorned with shrubs and flowers in the middle of the avenue between East 34th and East 38th Streets. From this historic district, the first three groups of row houses were built between 1853 and 1854. All the houses were brownstones and during the next ten years, more than 50 Italianate brownstones were built within the district.
In the 1850s and the early 1860s, Murray Hill residents were mainly affluent middle-class people like attorney Francis Byrne. The most notable Murray Hill resident was the artist Thomas Seir Cummings. Cummings lived at 117 East 36th Street from 1857 to mid-1860s, at that time he was a professor of design at the University of the City of New York (now called NYU) and was the vice president and treasurer of the National Academy of Design. In the 1870s, Murray Hill attracted young professionals such as attorney Lewis Cass Ledyard, founder of Carter, Ledyard & Millburn, architect R.H. Robertson, and New York District Attorney DeLancey Nicoll.
In the twentieth century, residents included architects Chester Aldrich of Aldrich of Delano & Aldrich, and actors Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy (starred in Driving Miss Daisy and Fried Green Tomatoes) who lived there from
the late 1940s to 1950s. Businesses also started to move into the area in the 1930s. Doctors who owned houses had their offices there too, advertising agency, Birmingham Castleman & Pierce and Architect Marcel Breuer, occupied office spaces in Murray Hill.
In the late 1990s, Murray Hill was known to attract multitudes of young college grads, creating a “work-hard, play-hard” environment. In our now twenty-first century, Murray Hill is now known as a sedate and low key neighborhood with modern residences, with a mix of recent grads, long time locals and families with young children. The current Murray Hill population is estimated to be 10,904.
Two of New York City’s most emblematic architectural buildings can be found at the corner of the neighborhood, those being, Grand Central Terminal and Chrysler Building. Grand Central Terminal is one of America’s most remarkable railroad terminuses. The beautiful Chrysler Building is famous for housing murals that celebrate transportation themes.
The Morgan Library & Museum, CUNY Graduate Center, Stern College for Women of Yeshiva University, Scandinavia House-The Nordic Center in America, The Mexican Cultural Institute of New York, and the notably private institution, the Union League Club of New York, are all part of the Murray Hill community.
Major employers, like law firms, hedge funds, banks and medical facilities such as NYU Langone Medical Center are in or in close proximity to Murray Hill, so most residents walk to work.
The subway lines that are in Murray Hill are the 4, 5, and 6 subway lines which run along Park Avenue and the 7
train along 42nd Street. Grand Central Terminal provides access to the Times Square shuttle as well as to Metro-North regional trains. There is also a bus service on First and Second Avenues.
If you or someone close to you is involved in an accident in Murray Hill, Manhattan, first and foremost seek medical attention as soon as possible. Be sure to have documentation of everything that takes place. In instances where the accident was through no fault of your own, you can pursue a personal injury lawsuit in order to receive compensation for your injuries.
The lawyers at Banville Law are knowledgeable in various kinds of personal injury lawsuits. Click here to view our list of areas of expertise. Contact us at any time for a free consultation.
Below you will find a couple of vital resources for accident victims in Murray Hill, Manhattan in cases of emergency:
One Gustave L. Levy Place
New York, New York 10029
550 First Avenue
New York, NY 10016
167 East 51st Street, New York, NY, 10022