Claremont Riding Academy

The Claremont Riding Academy, originally Claremont Stables, 175 West 89th Street, between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues on Manhattan's Upper West Side, was designed by Frank A. Rooke and built in 1892. Closed in 2007, Claremont was the oldest continuously operated equestrian stable in New York City and the last public stable in Manhattan.[2][3] The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980[4] and designated a New York City Landmark in 1990.[5] Since 2010, it has belonged to the Stephen Gaynor School.

Claremont Stables
The right half of an old, sturdy-looking 4-story, 5-bay building, faced with partly soiled beige brick and architectural decorations. The right bay has a gabled fifth floor with 3 small windows. A fire escape runs down the front. At street level 1½ large doorways are visible. One of the 20 or so windows is boarded, another is painted black.
Claremont Riding Academy, April 2008
Claremont Riding Academy is located in New York City
Claremont Riding Academy
Claremont Riding Academy is located in New York
Claremont Riding Academy
Claremont Riding Academy is located in the United States
Claremont Riding Academy
Location173–177 W. 89th St.,
New York, New York
Coordinates40°47′23″N 73°58′23″W / 40.78972°N 73.97306°W / 40.78972; -73.97306Coordinates: 40°47′23″N 73°58′23″W / 40.78972°N 73.97306°W / 40.78972; -73.97306
Area0.2 acres (0.081 ha)
ArchitectRooke, Frank A.
Architectural styleRomanesque, Flemish[1]:item 8
NRHP reference No.80002683
Significant dates
Added to NRHPApril 16, 1980
Designated NYCLAugust 14, 1990

Claremont StablesEdit

Former private stables adjoining Claremont on its east

In 1892, when horses still provided the primary means of transportation – the first automobile appeared on Manhattan's streets six years later – developer Edward W. Bedell, architect Frank A. Rooke, and builder Richard Deeves created a four-story carriage stable with a full basement. A penthouse was added in 1901. The structure had stalls for horses on the basement and second floors, and carriage storage space on the third, fourth, and penthouse floors; the main floor was used for carriage storage and for hitching the horses to their burdens. Horses and carriages could be had for hire, and horses could be boarded.[1][5]

At the same time, Rooke designed three two-story architecturally compatible private stables which were built on the neighboring lots – now 167, 169, and 171 West 89th Street – which Bedell then sold to local families.[5] These were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.[6][7] They were rehabilitated in 1989 by Buck & Cane to serve as the home of Ballet Hispanico.[8]

The style is Romanesque Revival. Prevalent in the 1880s and found throughout the Upper West Side, the style was adapted for a number of different building types, both residential and commercial. The facade is beige Roman brick, limestone, and terra cotta.[5]

The building is supported by the two outside brick walls, plus column and girders. The ground floor and basement columns are cast iron. The stable floors were of scored concrete or cement, with drains for liquid waste disposal. The basement and first and second floors were connected by ramps.[1]

Bedell sold the building in 1893, and over the next thirty-four years a number of different concerns operated the stable as lessees.[5]

Claremont Riding AcademyEdit

In 1927 the Claremont Stables became a riding school, in part to encourage the employment of the bridle paths in nearby Central Park. In December 1943, Irwin J. Novograd, a Polish immigrant employed as a bookkeeper for Claremont, purchased the building.[5]

In 1961 the building was condemned by the City of New York for demolition as part of the West Side Urban Renewal Area. The academy remained as month-to-month tenant for 37 years, with Irwin's son, Paul J. Novograd, becoming the academy's president in 1984, and continuing to offer boarding privileges, group and private riding lessons, and horse rentals.[9] The city changed its plans, the demolition never occurred, and the academy was able to repurchase the building from the city in 1998.[10][11]

The Central Park bridle paths, however, had been allowed to deteriorate, and were no longer restricted to equestrian use, which became practically impossible, resulting in a loss of business to the academy. This, and the expenses resulting from a historic restoration,[12] the owners said, led to the academy's demise in 2007.[10] 2007-04-30"/> Claremont was the oldest stable structure in New York still in use at the time.[1]

In 2010, the building was purchased by the Stephen Gaynor School – whose main building, at 148 West 90th Street, is behind it – which adapted it for the school's arts center and early learning center, building a rooftop addition in 2012.[13][14][a]


  1. ^ The 1901 penthouse was demolished by 1990. See Marthey:9n23. The two gabled structures with windows, above the fourth floor, are small, shallow attics.
  1. ^ a b c d Bedford, Steven M.; Gray, Christopher S. (October 22, 1979). "Claremont Stables/Claremont Riding Academy" (PDF). New York State Cultural Resource Information System (CRIS) (National Register of Historic Places Inventory–Nomination Form); and 7 accompanying photos. Retrieved April 15, 2016.
  2. ^ Jackson, Kenneth T., ed. (2010). The Encyclopedia of New York City (2nd ed.). New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-11465-2.. P. 238
  3. ^ White, Norval; Willensky, Elliot & Leadon, Fran (2010). AIA Guide to New York City (5th ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. p. 385. ISBN 978-0-19538-386-7.
  4. ^ "Claremont Stables". National Park Service Focus. April 16, 1980. Retrieved April 15, 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Marthey, Lynne (August 14, 1990). Pearson, Marjorie (ed.). "Claremont Stables" (PDF). Neighborhood Preservation Center (New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission designation report). Archived (PDF) from the original on March 10, 2016. Retrieved April 15, 2016.
  6. ^ "Stables at 167, 169 and 171 West 89th Street". National Park Service Focus. August 25, 1983. Retrieved April 15, 2016.
  7. ^ Gray, Christopher S.; Gray, Erin Drake (March 1983). "Stables at 167, 169 and 171 West 89th Street" (PDF). New York State Cultural Resource Information System (CRIS) (National Register of Historic Places Inventory–Nomination Form); and 8 accompanying photos. Retrieved April 16, 2016.
  8. ^ "Ballet Hispanico" (PDF). Landmark West. Archived (PDF) from the original on April 18, 2016. Retrieved April 18, 2016.
  9. ^ "Claremont Riding Academy". Potomac Horse Center. Archived from the original on April 20, 2007. Retrieved April 16, 2016.
  10. ^ a b "Claremont is Closing". Potomac Horse Center. Archived from the original on April 10, 2016. Retrieved April 16, 2016.
  11. ^ Fernandez, Manny (April 30, 2007). "A Vestige of the Past Shutters Its Stalls". New York Times. Retrieved April 15, 2016.
  12. ^ "Claremont Riding Academy". Preserv. Archived from the original on August 22, 2015. Retrieved April 17, 2016.
  13. ^ "Stephen Gaynor School Breathes New Life Into Historic NYC Landmark" (PDF). Stephen Gaynor School. Winter 2010. p. 3. Archived (PDF) from the original on April 16, 2016. Retrieved April 16, 2016.
  14. ^ "Landmarks Approves School's Expansion on Upper West Side". CityLand. New York Law School Center for New York City Law. May 2, 2012. Archived from the original on April 18, 2016. Retrieved April 18, 2012.

Further readingEdit

  • Korda, Michael (2003). Horse People: Scenes from the Riding Life. HarperCollins. ISBN 0-06-621252-9. Has a detailed chapter about Claremont, its horses, and its people.

External linksEdit