Audubon Terrace

Charles P. Huntington, McKim, Mead, & White, William Mitchell Kendall, Cass Gilbert
Audubon Terrace Historic District
National Register Historic District
Hispanic Society of America: National Register of Historic Places

Located on a portion of John James Audubon’s former estate, Audubon Terrace is one of the country’s first planned cultural centers outside a university context. Archer M. Huntington, stepson of railroad magnate Collis P. Huntington, was fascinated by Hispanic culture, and founded the Hispanic Society of America in 1904. To design its headquarters, Huntington hired his cousin, Charles Huntington. Hoping that geographic closeness would encourage cooperation, Archer Huntington donated land to encourage the Church of Our Lady of Esperanza, the American Numismatic Society, the American Geographic Society and the Museum of the American Indian to locate here. Although the center’s construction spanned two decades and four architectural firms, the structures were all designed in the neo-Italian Renaissance style to create a unified setting. In keeping with the Beaux-Arts tradition, the buildings were all arranged around a central courtyard paved in red brick, enclosed by stone balustrades and filled with sculptures designed by Anna Hyatt Huntington, Archer’s wife, and others. Audubon Terrace has sustained some change, with additions and newer buildings necessitating the reorientation of the entrance from West 156th Street to Broadway. Today, the complex is occupied by the Hispanic Society of America, the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a campus of Boricua College.