Sugar Hill

Sugar Hill is a neighborhood in the northern part of Hamilton Heights, which itself is a sub-neighborhood of Harlem, a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Manhattan.[1] The neighborhood is defined by 155th Street to the north, 145th Street to the south, Edgecombe Avenue to the east, and Amsterdam Avenue to the west.[2] The name originated in the 1920s, when the area became a popular place to live for wealthy African Americans.


Named to identify the “sweet life” in Harlem, it was a popular residential area of rowhouses for wealthy African Americans during the Harlem Renaissance, including W. E. B. Du Bois, Thurgood Marshall, Adam Clayton Powell, and Duke Ellington. Langston Hughes wrote about its relative affluence in relation to Harlem in his essay “Down and Under in Harlem” published in the The New Republic in 1944.[3]



Sugar Hill was made a municipal historic district by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 2000.[4] It is also a National Registered Historic Place.



[1] “Harlem – New York City Neighborhood – NYC”. New York Magazine. 2003-03-10. Retrieved 2009-01-04.
[2] “Harlem, Hamilton Heights, El Barrio, New York City”. Retrieved 2009-01-04.
[3] Hughes, Langston. “New Republic” (March 27, 1944): 404-5
[4] Siegal, Nina (2000-06-15). “Landmark Status For Harlem Buildings; District Holds Hub of Black Culture”. The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2009-01-04.