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New York in New York County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Sugar Hill Luminaries Lawn

Highbridge Park

 
 
Sugar Hill Luminaries Lawn Marker image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, May 10, 2019
1. Sugar Hill Luminaries Lawn Marker
Inscription.  The rock escarpment overlooking Harlem Valley forms the spine of northern Manhattan. Perched on this rise is the neighborhood of Sugar Hill, a part of Harlem which became home to many leading members of African-American society during the first half of the 20th century. This triangular parcel of law located at the foot of Highbridge Park commemorates the many luminaries who made their homes here.

Sugar Hill was named in the 1920s for the sweet life enjoyed by those who lived here. Loosely bounded by West 145th and 155th Streets and by Edgecombe and Amsterdam Avenues, this hill boasts neighborly streets and an eclectic range of late 19th and early 20th century architectural styles, but is best known for the people who lived here. In the 1920s and ‘30s, an intellectual vanguard emerged within the African-American community, and its base was Harlem. Those who could afford it – singers and musicians, political activists, author and painters – made their homes in the Sugar Hill area, which was distinguished by the accomplishments, affluence and sophistication of its residents. The New Negro Movement of this time, later known as
Sugar Hill Luminaries Lawn and marker site image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, May 10, 2019
2. Sugar Hill Luminaries Lawn and marker site
the Harlem Renaissance, was part of the intellectual fabric of this community, and Sugar Hill’s history is a reflection of that movement.

Residents included political reformers W.E.B. DuBois, founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); Walter White, secretary of the NAACP; and the Reverend Adam Clayton Powell Sr. Musicians and performers such as Paul Robeson, Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, and Billy Strayhorn also lived here. The field of arts and letters was represented by Langston Hughes, Ralph Ellison, Aaron Douglas, and William Stanley Braithwaite. Professionals included Thurgood Marshall, the first African American U.S. Supreme Court justice. Between the wars, these and many other luminaries created a unique sense of community on Sugar Hill.

The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission designated several sections of Hamilton Heights/Sugar Hill as historic districts between 2000 and 2002. In 2002, Sugar Hill in its entirety was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In 2009, NYC Parks named this park feature Sugar Hill Luminaries Lawn in response to a request from a community group that was endorsed by Community Board 12 in Manhattan. City Of New York Parks & Recreation May 2009
 
Erected 2009 by City Of New York Parks & Recreation.
 
Location.
Part of the "rocky escarpment" image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, May 10, 2019
3. Part of the "rocky escarpment"
near Coogan's Bluff Playground
40° 49.847′ N, 73° 56.43′ W. Marker is in New York, New York, in New York County. Marker is on Edgecombe Avenue near West 155th Street, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: New York NY 10032, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The John T. Brush Stairway (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Polo Grounds (approx. 0.2 miles away); Greg Marius Court (approx. 0.2 miles away); Holcombe Rucker Park (approx. 0.2 miles away); Middle Redoubt of the American Army   1776 (approx. 0.2 miles away); Morris-Jumel Mansion (approx. ¼ mile away); a different marker also named Morris-Jumel Mansion (approx. ¼ mile away); The Main Line of Defences (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New York.
 
Also see . . .  Sugar Hill Luminaries Lawn in Highbridge Park. Official NYC Parks description of Highbridge Park (Submitted on June 14, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.) 
 
Categories. African AmericansArchitectureArts, Letters, MusicEntertainment
 
Sugar Hill Luminary - Billy Strayhorn image. Click for full size.
via Wikipedia
4. Sugar Hill Luminary - Billy Strayhorn
His signature theme for Duke Ellington's orchestra, "Take the A Train", was based on directions for getting to the Duke's house in "Sugar Hill way up in Harlem."
Sugar Hill Luminary - W.E.B. DuBois image. Click for full size.
via Wikipedia
5. Sugar Hill Luminary - W.E.B. DuBois
Founder, N.A.A.C.P.
Sugar Hill Luminary - Thurgood Marshall image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner
6. Sugar Hill Luminary - Thurgood Marshall
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, 1967-1991
 

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Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2019. This page originally submitted on June 14, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. This page has been viewed 53 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on June 14, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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