Turtle Bay Gardens is an interesting place to visit with your New York car rental. The history of the area dates back to 1639 when the Dutch governor gave two Englishmen an area of land that was 40 acres. The land was traversed by a creek that emptied into the East River, which is why some historians think the name “Turtle Bay” was given to the area.
From the time of European settlement to the Revolutionary War, the bay was a safe haven for ships from winter gales and the currents of the East River. Ship builders used the area to make ships, and it soon became an important place of commerce for the area. By the early 1800s, the area was rapidly expanding with breweries, shops, mills, and small industry. The industrial revolution was coming to the area. Some of this history will still be evident as you drive around the area in your New York car rental.
Edgar Allen Poe was one of the famous residents who lived in the area, as you may learn when you visit with your New York car rental. Poe once wrote about the pleasure of rowing around the area and complained about the proposed grid system for Manhattan. He thought the natural landscape would be doomed by this plan. Poe was partly right: the grid pattern did divide the city into lots that were being developed around the middle of the century. At this time, large avenues were opening from north to south, some of which you can still drive your New York car rental on.
The civil war put stress on the area. But the end of the war caused another surge in building in the area. Brownstones were being built all over the city, block by block. Immigrants poured into the area, and there was an even greater need for housing. At this time, Turtle Bay began to fall into decay as Italian, German, Irish, and Jewish immigrants were attracted to the area.
There was a resurgence in the area in the 1920s as brownstones became more fashionable. A large communal garden was built in Turtle Bay that added to the beauty of the area and has attracted many prominent New Yorkers.
Turtle Bay in the Present
In 1946 six city blocks of the area was completely transformed to make room for a new organization: The United Nations. This is one of the most interesting buildings to visit in Turtle Bay with your New York car rental. Since then, there has been a building boom in the area, with many office buildings, condos, and other buildings. As you drive through the area with your New York car rental, think about how the people who once called this island home would think the area has changed so much. Some of that change was for the better, some for the worst. Some of the most interesting places to visit while you are here are the Ford Foundation, Tudor City, UN Headquarters, and the Turtle Bay Gardens Historic District.
As you drive through the area with your New York car rental, remember this was once the neighborhood for America’s rich, famous, and powerful.