There's a row of houses that have stood in Chelsea since the mid-nineteenth century on West 29th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues that were once significant sites in the Underground Railroad. The strip, known as the Lamartine Place Historic District, is now marked by a sign hanging on 339 W. 29th St., which was unveiled in the days preceding Martin Luther King Day. They are the only parts of the Underground Railroad in Manhattan, N.Y.
The homes were originally constructed between 1846 and 1847 by William Torrey in association with Cyrus Mason, a professor at New York University. The buildings have undergone significant alterations since they were first erected. Many of the buildings have retained their Greek Revival sills and stoops. Some of the homes were updated during a Renaissance Revival project at the turn of the twentieth century in which their facades were changed. All but one of the homes is taller than it was originally, since a fourth story was added in the twentieth century to accommodate more tenants.
There are currently six Underground Railroad sites in New York according to the National Park Services website, two of which are near New York City. The first is Plymouth Church of Pilgrims in Brooklyn. The church was one of the foremost centers of antislavery sentiment between 1849 and the outbreak of the Civil War. The other site near New York City is the Foster Memorial AME Zion Church in Tarrytown. Members of Foster AME helped provide food and shelter to slaves during the Civil War.