was formed to prevent the demolition of 

857 Riverside Drive, and obtain landmark status for this historic building.

857 Riverside Drive as it appeared in Berenice Abbot's

iconic 1937 photograph

857 Riverside Drive as it appears today, clearly retaining many aspects of its original form and structure

That effort continues with our New Proposal to expand the Audubon Park Historic District.

 The Dennis Harris/John Newhouse Abolitionist House
at 857 Riverside Drive

By Joseph V. Amodio

"Nestled on a diagonal plot along a narrow, curving stretch of Riverside Drive lies a two-story

wood-frame house built in 1851, once owned by Dennis Harris, a hero of the Underground Railroad, and Judge John Newhouse, his friend and colleague.


Both men were ardent abolitionists, civic-minded entrepreneurs, and pivotal figures in the growth of Washington Heights.


Sites related to abolitionists and the Underground Railroad are rare in New York City. 


This Greek Revival–Italianate house is arguably the only one known to survive north of 96th Street in Manhattan.


Harris was a leading activist in the fight for racial justice and an ally of suffragists, befriending such luminaries as Elizabeth Blackwell and Lucy Stone.


Together, he and Newhouse enriched the life of the nearby Audubon Park and Carmansville neighborhoods, exerting an impact on the economic, social and spiritual life of the area that was both significant and historic." 

(The above excerpt is from Joseph V. Amodio's, Request for Evaluation)


Upon learning that the new owner of 857 Riverside Drive applied for a demolition permit to demolish the rare mid-19th century house and replace it with a 13-story apartment tower, the Upper Riverside Residents Alliance, along with Manhattan Community Board 12, elected officials, a coalition of civic and preservation groups and concerned individuals are committed to saving this historic Structure, preserving its history and protecting its future as a New York City Landmark.


The pages of this website tell the full story.

The UPPER RIVERSIDE RESIDENTS ALLIANCE (“Save Riverside”) is an advocacy organization dedicated to Protecting, Preserving and Celebrating the Architecture, Culture, and History of Riverside Drive and its adjacent areas in northern Manhattan. Elected Officers for 2021–2022:

Lesley Doyel President

Josette Bailey Vice President

Peter Green Secretary

Matthew Spady Treasurer

“Along with our dynamic Advisory Board, we look forward to continued work with CB12, elected officials, community organizations and residents of our unique, diverse, and historic neighborhood.”

Lesley Doyel, President


Your contributions are tax-deductible.

If you'd prefer to pay by check, 

make it out to: 

Historic Districts Council

write Upper Riverside in the memo.

Mail your check to: 

Historic Districts Council

232 East 11th Street

New York, NY 10003


The Abolitionists of Washington Heights

The New York Times article
by John Freeman Gill

Preserving New York's Ties to the Underground Railroad

Morris Jumel Mansion Virtual Parlor Chat  

An Historic Preservation Panel

Saving New York's History