Hamilton Heights is a neighborhood in Harlem, in the New York City borough of Manhattan. It lies between Manhattanville to the south and Washington Heights to the north. It contains the neighborhood of Sugar Hill.
Hamilton Heights is bounded by 135th Street to the south, the Hudson River to the west, 155th Street to the north, and Edgecombe Avenue to the east. The community derives its name from Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, who lived the last two years of his life in the area when it was still largely farmland; specifically, he lived in what is now known as Hamilton Grange National Monument. It is located within Manhattan Community Board 9.
Most of the housing dates from the extension of the elevated and subway lines at the end of the 19th and the start of the 20th Century. This fairly elegant housing became less desirable to white residents in the 1930s and 1940s as the population changed from white to black, even though the black residents were just as affluent as the white residents. There are spacious apartment buildings, brownstones and other row houses prominently lining the leafy eastern streets of Hamilton Heights, an area traditionally home to a substantial black professional class. The brownstone revival of the 1960s and 1970s led to a new movement of middle-class blacks in the area. Latinos arrived in large numbers in the 1980s, with Dominicans making up the majority. Today the local population is changing again, with Hispanics constituting a majority of the population followed by African Americans, West Indians and remainders of earlier times’ ethnic whites. Gentrification since 2005 has dramatically increased the proportion of non-Hispanic whites. Many actors, artists, teachers, and other professionals now reside in Hamilton Heights.
The neighborhood offers several parks, including the recently built Riverbank State Park, embedded in Riverside Park which runs along the Hudson River the length of Hamilton Heights.
Historic Hamilton Heights comprises the Hamilton Heights Historic District and the Hamilton Heights/Sugar Hill Historic District Extension, both designated by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. One of the highest hills in Hamilton Heights slopes up from the Hudson River at 155th Street, and contains the Trinity Church Cemetery. Many individual buildings in the district are also land-marked, including Sheppard Hall on the City College Campus, and the building that once housed The High School of Music & Art.
The number 1 subway line stops in Hamilton Heights at the 137th Street–City College and 145th Street stations. The A and D trains run under St. Nicholas Avenue, providing service at 145th Street. The C shares stations with the A train services at 135th, 145th, and 155th streets. The B shares stations with the D train services at 135th, 145th, and 155th streets. The MTA-New York City Transit bus lines M4 and M5 serve Broadway; M100 and M101 run on Amsterdam Avenue; M11 on 135th Street; Bx19 on 145th Street; Bx6 on 155th Street and the M3 on St. Nicholas Avenue.