"Audubon Park’s Journey from Farmland to Cityscape"

Fordham University Press / Barnes & Noble / Amazon


Told by its resident keeper of the flame and founding director of the Audubon Park Alliance, this well-documented saga of demographics chronicles a dazzling cast of characters and a plot fraught with idealism, speculation, and expansion, as well as religious, political, and real estate machinations.

— Roberta J.M. Olson, Ph.D., 
Curator of Drawings, New-York Historical Society Museum and Library


It is a marvel. And though it’s as painstaking as an academic treatise, it’s a griping historical adventure story. In its pages one is propelled through time and space.

— Michael Henry Adams, 
independent architectural, social and cultural scholar focused on Harlem, Newport and LGBT+ history


An illuminating treat! Matthew Spady introduces a remarkable old New York enclave that once flourished beyond Manhattanville in Upper Manhattan, personifying a suburban allure that shaped the breadth of the burgeoning city. A work rich in vivid historical detail and anecdotal observation as it retraces the neighborhood’s fascinating arc from remote woodland estate to the enduring Beaux Arts streetscape one still visits today.

— Eric K. Washington, 
historian, biographer, tour guide, photographer


Matthew Spady’s deeply researched and well-written history of the origins and growth of what came to be known as Audubon Park sets a very high bar for historians and scholars. One of Mr. Spady’s accomplishments as a writer is maintaining a neutral tone while developing his story that could easily lead one to quiet lamentation over the environmental costs of the decades of development.

— Daniel Patterson, 
Emeritus Professor of English, Central Michigan University


As a historian, Matthew Spady is a superb tour guide―and vice versa. His vivid chronicle of the evolution of Audubon Park is confident and enlightening, a primer on how to excavate and assemble a portrait of a neighborhood.

— John Taliaferro, 
author of Grinnell: America’s Environmental Pioneer and His Restless Drive to Save the West

The Neighborhood Manhattan Forgot: Audubon Park and the Families Who Shaped It
Matthew Spady