Duke Ellington House

The Duke Ellington House is a historic residence at 935 St. Nicholas Avenue, in Manhattan, New York City. Apartment 4A in this apartment house was the home of Duke Ellington (1899-1974), the noted African American composer and jazz pianist, from 1939 through 1961.[3] It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a National Historic Landmark in 1976.[3][4][5]

Duke Ellington House
Duke Ellington House
Duke Ellington House
Duke Ellington House
Location935 St. Nicholas Avenue, Manhattan, New York City, New York[1]
Coordinates40°49′56″N 73°56′28″W
Architectural styleLate Gothic Revival, other
NRHP reference #76001239[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHPMay 11, 1976[1]
Designated NHLMay 11, 1976[3]

Description and history

The apartment house containing the Duke Ellington House is located in northern Manhattan's Washington Heights neighborhood, at the southwest corner of St. Nicholas Avenue and 157th Street. It is a six-story masonry structure, built in 1915 in the Late Gothic Revival style. The ground floor appears as a raised basement, with horizontal bands of stonework between its windows. The middle four floors are essentially identical, with some columns of window bays featuring decorative carved panels between the floors. Top-floor windows are set in peaked-arch openings and have more elaborate surrounds. The building is crowned by a parapet with stone turrets and projections. A pair of entrance bays are located at the center of the St. Nicholas facade, the entrances deeply recessed in peaked-arch openings.[4]

When Duke Ellington moved into Apartment A4 in this building in 1939, he was already a well-known musician with a national reputation. It was during his period of his residency here that he wrote a number of his most important compositions, including Black, Brown and Beige, his first major extended-length jazz composition for chorus and orchestra. During this period, Ellington's music and personal style had a major impact on African-American culture specifically, as well as broader cultural trends in music.[4]

See also


  1. "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  2. "935 St. Nicholas Avenue" on the New York City Geographic Information System Map
  3. "Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington House". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. 2007-09-11. Archived from the original on 2011-06-05.
  4. ""Edward Kennedy 'Duke' Ellington House", by Lynne Gomez Graves" (pdf). National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination. National Park Service. 1975-10-30.
  5. "Edward Kennedy 'Duke' Ellington House--Accompanying Photos, exterior and interior, from 1975" (pdf). National Register of Historic Places Inventory. National Park Service. September 1978.
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