Manhattan Neighborhood Market Report: Morningside Heights Real Estate Guide

Real Estate Agent

Morningside Heights is the academic quarter of New York City. It stretches irregularly from north of 96th Street to about 123rd Street between Morningside Park and Riverside Park on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

From the top of a 135-foot bluff, it overlooks the Hudson River on one side and Harlem on the other. It is about 15 minutes from midtown Manhattan by subway. With apartments on the "Gold Coast" of Riverside Drive selling for well over $1,000,000, Morningside Heights is one of th granted scenic landmark status toe more desirable residential neighborhoods in Manhattan.

The area that is now Morningside park was described as "inconvenient for use" by a city surveyor in 1867, meaning difficult to build property on, so it was made into a park, which was called "Morning-side park" because its east facing slope catches the morning sun.

The neighborhood that developed around the park became Morningside Heights.

Morningside Park, Manhattan, NYC

Morninside Park is located on a long a rocky ledge extending from 110th to 123rd streets and between Morningside Drive and Manhattan Avenues and Morningside Avene is comprised of approximately 30 acres that were excluded from the street grid under a proposal

Built on a steep incline, multiple playgrounds nestle at the bottom of its cliff-like hillside, and visitors pause along its heights to take in a unique view. Winding paths bordered with flowers and trees lead to a cascading waterfall, across from which local teams play on its baseball fields. Parents bring their children to play in its playgrounds and learn in its after-school program, and on Saturdays local farmers sell their goods in an outdoor market.

For many years, the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, tried to get people to call the area Cathedral Heights, but was unsuccessful. The Cathedral, built before the impact of skyscrapers was intended to tower over the city. It does not, but West 110th Street is called Cathedral Parkway.

Cathedral of Saint John the Divine


Ariel East on Broadway is new condo next to the famous landmark Metro Theatre. This jewel of a neighborhood movie house gained landmark status because of it's handsome glazed-terra-cotta Art Deco facade and beautiful neon marquee. Unfortunately only the outside of the building has landmark status. The inside space is currently available for rent to a store. The theatre is nestled between two high rise buildings. The new 37 story glass Ariel to the north and the 17 story 1930 Art Deco co-op The Trafalgar at 233 W. 99th Street to the south.

 Airiel East, Metro Theatre, Morningside Heights, Upper Broadway, Manhattan


The Ariel, two new luxury residential towers across the street from each other at 99th & Broadway are currently being erected. One tower will be 31 stories tall and have 73 units, the other will be 37 stories tall and have 65 units. The Ariel is selling grand sized apartments with 2 bedrooms starting at $1,500,000

    Ariel Condos East & West   

Avalon Morningside Park a new rental building  at One Morningside Drive and 110th Street, a 2 story glass entrance with 296 units.






Columbia University


 Columbia University Campus from a 1915 postcard

                                 Columbia Campus today


Morningside Heights is currently home to about 35,000 people, and over the years has housed a long list of famous individuals, intellectuals and students, charming bookstores, cafes and bars as well as world-renowned institutions, including: 

  • Columbia University                                                                                                    
  • Grant's Tomb
  • Barnard College
  • Union Theological Seminary                                                                            
  • Jewish Theological Seminary                 
  • Bank St. College of Education
  • Manhattan School of Music
  • Cathedral of Saint John the Divine
  • Riverside Church
  • Grant's Tomb

                                             Riverside Church


Nick Moyer, the Busker of Morningside Heights at 103rd Street/Broadway #1 Subway Station

Click here to receive available Morningside Heights Listings

A blog series courtesy of:  

Mitchell Hall, Associate Broker, The Corcoran Group


Morningside Heights

Upper West Side

West End Avenue

Riverside Boulevard


Clinton / Hells Kitchen

Greenwich Village



Battery Park City

©Mitchell Hall 2006-2009

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Comments (14)

Edward Lee
Keller Williams Realty LANDMARK - Bayside, NY

hello mitchell...

had a quick question since you seem to have lots of manhattan expertise....

if i were to buy new tribeca 1BR   how much /sq ft is average???  not a great view but im always interested in hearing what local brokers say about the area


ed (

Mar 11, 2007 05:49 PM
Mitchell J Hall
Manhattan, NY
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn


In 4Q-06 the average price per square foot in Tribeca was $1,332. Most spaces in Tribeca are lofts.

Mar 12, 2007 02:37 AM
Carole Cohen
Howard Hanna Cleveland City Office - Cleveland, OH
Realtor, ePRO

Hi Mitchell,

It's interesting to me how all the academia is located in one spot. Well not all, but certainly a lot of it! John Jay is in Tribeca yes?  Very interesting, as always :-)

Mar 12, 2007 05:30 AM
Mitchell J Hall
Manhattan, NY
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn

Hi Carole,

NYU and the art schools are in the village. Columbia is Ivy League, it has been there for more than 300 years. New York was a colony.

John Jay is on 11th Ave at 60th St. Where Clinton ends and Upper West Side begins. 11th Avenue becomes West End Avenue at 60th street. I walked by it yesterday.

Mar 12, 2007 06:27 AM
Sharon Koskoff

Why do you say "unfortunately the theatre has landmark status". What makes a neighborhood great is it's past history and historical buildings, even if only it's facade. Learn about Art Deco preservation efforts around the country and perhaps you will realize understand how lucky you are to still have the marquee in tact!

Sharon Koskoff

founding president Art Deco Society of the Palm Beaches

Mar 13, 2007 08:47 AM
Mitchell J Hall
Manhattan, NY
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn


I said: "Unfortunately only the outside of the building has landmark status". I believe the inside should have been saved as well. The interior had recently been restored, was revived as an art cinema and now it is going to be gutted and divided into a drug store and or a supermarket.

The Art Deco buildings in Palm Beach are gorgeous and they are being utilized in an arts capacity.

I've been a supporter of Landmark West and the Municipal Art Society for the past 20 years. Yes, we are lucky that the building can not be razed.

My point was that it should remain as a theatre or at least keep the integrity of the original use. Having a neighborhood theatre particularly a beautiful one also makes a neighborhood great.

Mar 13, 2007 10:40 AM
Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection
Mitchell all I can say is that I alway look forward to your post and the tour you give of the NYC area.  I get the sense you are really into history.  You are someone I can reference as a person who really knows his market place.  If I get questions about the area I will certainly refer people to your blog.  Thanks again for the time effort and thought you put into each post.
Mar 15, 2007 12:08 AM
Mitchell J Hall
Manhattan, NY
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn
Thanks Jennifer, I appreciate you stopping by and your nice comment.
Mar 15, 2007 03:39 AM

Hello Mitchell,

A further correction on John Jay. I actually live diagonally across from it and the main entrance is on 10th between 58th and 59th although they do have the back lot which they seem to be building on 11th. I'm adjacent to St. Lukes Roosevelt hospital. I have to say that John Jay's main building had wonderful architectural detail at roof-view level. Living across and appreciating its lit-up roof at night is fantastic at eye level just across from it. It's like living across from a beautiful British stately home. That's the problem with new architecture -- the lack of ever building anything truely distinctive anymore. It's important to treasure these landmarks. That said, I'm glad that the new buildings will revitalize the economics of the west side--as long as they don't tear down great old buildings, get too high in the sky, or monopolize the look of New York City I guess it's OK. 

Jan 27, 2008 02:50 PM
Mitchell J Hall
Manhattan, NY
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn
Hi A.R.T. Thanks for stopping by and correcting me. Yes John Jay is on 10th Ave and it is a very beautiful building. There certainly are a lot of new glass tower buildings going up where you live.
Jan 27, 2008 11:59 PM


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