A DISTRICT of much interest is the plateau north of 110th street, on the West Side, between the Hudson River and Morningside Park. It contains Grant's Tomb on Riverside Drive, and Columbia University and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine on Morningside Heights.
RIVERSIDE PARK, which begins at 72d street, extends along the slopes and bluffs of the Hudson for three miles to 130th street, forming what Sir Henry Irving has pronounced the most magnificent residential avenue in the world. It was a park in nature; and for the most part the natural contours have been preserved, with many of the trees of the original forest. Along the bluff, which in places attains an elevation of 130 feet, runs Riverside Drive, one of the grandest and most beautiful urban drives in the world. It gives a succession of picturesque views of the Hudson and the Palisades, and is lined on the east with fine houses. The River-side section is one of the high-class residential districts. The New York Orphan Asylum plot fronting the Drive, from 73d to 74th streets, was acquired in 1901 by Charles M. Schwab, President of the United States Steel Corporation, who paid for it $86o,000, and here Mr. Schwab has built at a reported cost of $2,000,000 one of the most magnificent residences in America.
At 89th street is the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, to commemorate the citizens of New York who had part in the Civil War; modeled after the choragic monuments of ancient Athens, it is a circular building of pure white marble, with a peristyle of twelve Corinthian columns, 35 feet high. It was provided by the city at a cost of $250,000, and was dedicated in 1902.
A copy of Houdon's statue of Washington, a gift from the school children of the city, stands at 89th street.
The boat house of Columbia is on the river bank at 115th street. Across the open fields at 116th street are seen the buildings of Columbia University and Barnard College, and shortly beyond we come to the ascent upon which rises the Tomb of General Grant. The spot is one of natural grandeur and beauty of surroundings. The bluff rises 130 feet above the river, and is clothed with great forest trees, good to look upon, and through the openings giving many lovely vistas. Below is the broad expanse of the Hudson, animated here and there with sail and steam; opposite are the green slopes of New Jersey, with the Palisades stretching away to the north until they soften in the distance and merge in the purple haze. The view looking up the Hudson from Claremont is justly famous. It would have been difficult to find a grander site than this on Riverside Drive for the monumental pile which New York has erected to the memory of the great General.
This point of the Riverside Drive has retained the name of Claremont, from an old family mansion, which stands north of the Tomb, and is now the Claremont Inn restaurant. Beyond the Claremont slopes the east drive, circles and returns on the west side of the Tomb. A steel viaduct one-third of a mile in length spanning Manhattan Valley provides for the northern extension of the Drive to a connection with the Harlem Speed-way, which gives a continuous elevated boulevard for a distance of ten miles along the Hudson and the Harlem.
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