New York Daily Photo Analytics

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Claremont

I wanted to call this the End of an Era, but I don't want to overuse the phrase. Everywhere you go, look or read there's the last of something or a NYC icon closing - CBGB, Grand Machinery Exchange, etc. Claremont Riding Academy, located at 175 W. 89th Street and less than two blocks from Central Park and its bridle path, was a real riding school and working horse stable, the oldest in NYC and the country. It was amazing to walk down this quiet residential block on the Upper West Side and see an urban barn with hay, horses, a wooden ramp and a riding ring. Click here for more photos, including a peek inside. The five-story Romanesque revival building (on the National Historic Register) was designed by Frank Rooke and built by Edward Bedell in 1892. Bedell had built a number of stables in the neighborhood - Cedarhurst Stable at 147 W. 83rd and three on this block at 167-171 W. 89th. Ownership passed to Charles Havemeyer, Emil Wellner (who in 1928 changed the name from Claremont Stables to Claremont Riding Academy), Irwin Novagrad in 1943 and finally to his son Paul who closed the operation on April 30, 2007. Paul Novograd cited a number of reasons for the closing - financial difficulties and declining ridership in part due to increased crowding of the Central Park Bridle path with joggers, cyclists, dogwalkers, etc. Encountering the occasional horses with their riders going to and from Central Park and the stables down city streets was truly an experience - the fate of Claremont is mourned by many and sadly, horseback riding will no longer be available in Manhattan ...

12 comments:

riniroo said...

I know that it's sad that this is how I get my NY info, but wasn't this featured on Sex and the City when Charlotte tried to get back into riding?

It's so sad that an institution that has meant something to New Yorkers (and non) has to close.

Lucy said...

Nice photo and good to get more on the story.
It is an incredibly expensive pastime, thousands a month I think, and I think that might have had some weight in the decision many had to cut back on this particular form of recreation...most of the people who participated have places in the country where horses are easier to keep or stable...

Prokur said...

Where did you get so detailed stories? :)

Brian said...

riniroo - This is a story that everyone ran - newspapers, magazines, etc.

prokur - I do a lot of reading and investigating. Friends help sometimes. I have been living in the city for many decades, so I have a large inventory of things, situations, places, events. I typically spend a few hours in the morning putting just one posting together - not counting the photography.

Brian

Strangetastes said...

Brian - that is a sad loss for Manhattan. When I was a kid, my father belonged to an association for ex-officers of Squadron A, the reserve unit he was assigned to during WW II (he had bad vision). It was originally a cavalry unit and their armory, on upper Lexington Avenue, actually had indoor polo games on Saturday afternoons. I loved going there with my father and watching the horses from a balcony off the bar (and gorging on their bottomless bowls of peanuts). After the game, he would take me down to the stables. This was in the late 50s and early 60s.

Is the armory building itself still there?

Bob

St. Louis Missouri Daily Photo Blog

Merisi said...

This is truly sad, I enjoyed the occasional encounter with horses there in Central Park.

RamblingRound said...

Hate to hear that. I always enjoyed seeing photos of horses around Central Park. Nice old building.

Abraham Lincoln said...

I suppose times change and the horses got no publicity. Sometimes the lack of that spells the end of many things.

See what Brookville has blowing in the wind.

Sweet said...

I have a little problem with my mad English language , but I like much the light of this photograph. Sweet

James said...

This was somewhat sad when I heard about it. I lived and went to church near here and it was always a pain to deal with the horse droppings and smell on the ground. I suppose it was acceptable while the area wasn't great but now that it's getting better it is time to clean up the streets....

Mme Benaut from Adelaide Daily Photo said...

Very sad Brian, the passing of an era ...

Brian said...

The best solution would be to open a stable in Central Park itself. I understand there was a plan for this at one time but never implemented.
Brian