Claremont Stables (Claremont Riding Academy)
Backstory and Context
As difficult as it is to imagine now, Manhattan was once--in the not-so-distant past--home to numerous stables and riding schools. The oldest continuously operating riding school in the city--and perhaps the United States--was the Claremont Stables, which closed in 2007.
The stables opened in 1892 in a five-story building that looks like an unassuming apartment building, with only an overly wide entrance to indicate otherwise. Initially it served as a private boarding stable, with people renting stables in the building for as much as New Yorkers might expect to pay for an apartment. The building was designed with a clever system of ramps and pulleys to move horses and carriages between floors.
In 1927, the Claremont was reinvented as a riding school. Generations of students took riding lessons at the Claremont, riding a block or two along the street or on the trail in nearby Central Park. Occasionally, one of the Claremont's horses appearted in cultural or educational events, including a performance in "Aida" at the Metropolitan Opera.
The increased popularity of Central Park and its paths increasingly meant that riding horses in the park was unsafe, and Paul Novograd, the stables' long-time owner, closed the riding school in 2007, citing the expense of keeping the building as his primary reason. The building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is now home to the private Stephen Gaynor School.
Roberts, Sam. Paul Novograd, Who Owned Manhattan's Last Public Livery, Dies at 73, New York Times . March 27th 2017. Accessed June 13th 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/27/nyregion/paul-novograd-dead-ran-claremont-riding-academy-in-manhattan.html.
Fernandez, Manny . A Vestige of the Past Shutters its Stalls , New York Times . April 30th 2007. Accessed June 13th 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/30/nyregion/30claremont.html.
Kensinger , Nathan . Visiting New York's Last Horse Stables , Daytonian. November 15th 2010. Accessed June 13th 2020. https://ny.curbed.com/2017/9/21/16341468/new-york-carriage-horse-stables-photo-essay.