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West Harlem

West Harlem

West Harlem

Located in the northern section of New York City, West Harlem is a neighborhood in Upper Manhattan. The area is bounded by Frederick Douglass Boulevard from the west, the Harlem River from the north, Central Park from the south and Fifth Avenue from the east. New developments are still in progress here as the area is transforming towards the famed Harlem Renaissance.

The neighborhood serves as a central point for historic institutions in the city. Columbia University anOKd City College are located to the south and north of West Harlem which makes this place a hub of intellectual culture. Other than that, many elementary, primary and middle schools are located in the proximity of this neighborhood. Primary zip codes of this neighborhood are 10026, 10027, 10030, 10037 and 10039.   


Originally this neighborhood was a Dutch Village and organized in 1658. Its name came from a city of Netherlands, Haarlem. West Harlem has seen a couple of ins and outs in terms of population as the neighborhood’s history is full of economic boom-and-bust cycles.

 In the 19th century, Harlem was occupied by Italians and Jewish Americans but in the 20th century the neighborhood started to fill with African-American residents – thanks to the ‘Great Migration’. 

Till the late 20th century, most of the residents of Harlem were black and that was due to the deindustrialization and unemployment in New York City. Since the late 20th century, West Harlem is experiencing the effects of gentrification and development. 

Adjacent Neighborhoods 

Morningside Heights, Washington Heights, Upper East Side, and Upper West Side. 

Buildings – Flat or Tall?

West Harlem is filled with beautifully architect buildings with many brownstones. Real Estate in this area is heating up but still, you can find affordable apartments. 


According to the stats of 2016, the total population of West Harlem was 116,345 with a density of 32,000/km2 (83,000/sq mi). 

What’s here?

If you are looking to live in a historic place above Central Park, West Harlem should be your first choice. Due to its proximity to Columbia University and City College, the population of this neighborhood is mostly young and energetic. For families, there are a couple of nearby parks along with many affordable apartments throughout the area. 

Basically, Harlem is divided into three sections: West Harlem, Central Harlem and East Harlem. West Harlem consists of Manhattanville, Sugar Hill and Hamilton Heights. During its peak days, West Harlem was a premium place to watch Billie Holliday and Ella Fitzgerald. On 125th St. you will find the famous Apollo Theater and H&M. The neighborhood is home to many delicious restaurants like Corner Social, Sylvia's Soul Food, and Red Rooster. 

West Harlem has lively nightlife as Spanish residents can enjoy El Morroco on 145th St. Music lovers can spend Friday nights at Shrine and Bill’s Place. 

Check It Out

Enjoy visual arts, music and theater in ‘The Harlem Arts Festival’ which takes place in June. If you are a movie fan, you would definitely love the Harlem International Film Festival which shows movies around the globe.