simple is beautiful
New York Daily Photo: Claremont
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Wednesday, 9 May 2007


I wanted to call this the End of an Era, but I don't want to overuse the phrase. Everywhere you go, look or read there's the last of something or a NYC icon closing - CBGB, Grand Machinery Exchange, etc. Claremont Riding Academy, located at 175 W. 89th Street and less than two blocks from Central Park and its bridle path, was a real riding school and working horse stable, the oldest in NYC and the country. It was amazing to walk down this quiet residential block on the Upper West Side and see an urban barn with hay, horses, a wooden ramp and a riding ring. Click here for more photos, including a peek inside. The five-story Romanesque revival building (on the National Historic Register) was designed by Frank Rooke and built by Edward Bedell in 1892. Bedell had built a number of stables in the neighborhood - Cedarhurst Stable at 147 W. 83rd and three on this block at 167-171 W. 89th. Ownership passed to Charles Havemeyer, Emil Wellner (who in 1928 changed the name from Claremont Stables to Claremont Riding Academy), Irwin Novagrad in 1943 and finally to his son Paul who closed the operation on April 30, 2007. Paul Novograd cited a number of reasons for the closing - financial difficulties and declining ridership in part due to increased crowding of the Central Park Bridle path with joggers, cyclists, dogwalkers, etc. Encountering the occasional horses with their riders going to and from Central Park and the stables down city streets was truly an experience - the fate of Claremont is mourned by many and sadly, horseback riding will no longer be available in Manhattan ...


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