Located atop The Cliff, the highest location in Central Park, is a hearty stone and mortar structure older than the park itself. While it is known as The Blockhouse, this building is actually the first studio apartment in New York City.
With the population growing rapidly at the start of the 19th century, city planners were looking for simple, affordable housing for the nearly 79,000 people now living on Manhattan Island.
They turned to Atticus Bedfellow, a young architect who gained notoriety in the engineering community for designing a towering six story skyscraper. Bedfellow believed young merchants and tradesmen recently moved to Manhattan would love to live in single room dwellings with the barest of amenities (walls, a floor) in exchange for low monthly rent.
Bedfellow constructed his model apartment which his crew dubbed The Blockhouse high atop a cliff in what is now the northwest corner of Central Park. Despite the spectacular view from atop the cliff, the stone dwelling had no windows, as Bedfellow believed them to be an unnecessary luxury.
When the project failed to attract the interest of city planners, Bedfellow was forced to abandon the studio apartment concept. He lived Blockhouse for a few years until he got married and was forced to move out by his new bride, who demanded they live someplace nice.