The mansion of Charles Apthorp was built in 1764 and stood until 1891 when it was demolished for the construction of West 91st Street. Apthorp owned a wide swath of property that was served by a lane that connected the Eastern Post Road, near what is now the east side of Central Park, and the Bloomingdale Road, near present-day Broadway.
Apthorp established several other lanes across his property and when he divided his estate he used these lanes as boundaries for separate parcels. A series of lawsuits, foreclosures and other disputes were set off after Apthorp’s death and not fully settled for decades.
One block still carries the marks of Apthorp Lane. The rear property lines in the block bordered by West 93rd and 94th Streets and Columbus and Amsterdam are slightly slanted along the center line of the old Apthorp Lane, which cut diagonally through the block.
The diagonal line is not easily seen from the street but is evident in the dividing fences and walls in the outdoor spaces behind many of the buildings. The apartment house at 120 W 94th Street is built parallel to the rear property line, slanting away from the line of the street, as if it still stands on the old lane.