Stephanie Azzarone, "Heaven on the Hudson: Mansions, Monuments, and Marvels of Riverside Park" (Fordham UP, 2022)


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On the west side of Manhattan, Riverside Park winds between the banks of the Hudson River and the elegant housing of Riverside Drive. In her new book Heaven on the Hudson: Mansions, Monuments, and Marvels of Riverside Park (Fordham UP, 2022), Stephanie Azzarone seeks to lift the park and its surroundings from the shadows of more famous places, like Fifth Avenue, Central Park, and Central Park West.

The first half of Heaven on the Hudson covers the history of Riverside Park and Riverside Drive, from colonial times to the recent past. The second half takes readers on a tour of both, punctuated by historically grounded descriptions of buildings, monuments, memorials and recreation areas. Her chapters are accompanied by historical illustrations, contemporary photographs by Robert F. Rodriguez, and a glossary that helps readers new to architecture makes sense of architectural terms. Azzarone, who writes as a long-time resident and local historian who loves the park and the drive, has produced a book that is at once detailed and passionate.

Robert W. Snyder, Manhattan Borough Historian and professor emeritus at Rutgers University, is editing an anthology of New Yorkers’ memories of the COVID-19 pandemic for Cornell University Press.

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