top of page

How to Find the Billings Arcade, the Hidden Remains of a Spectacular Mansion in Fort Tryon Park

The Billings Arcade, the hidden remains of a spectacular mansion in Fort Tryon Park

What was once the entrance to a grand mansion is now a hidden gem in Fort Tryon Park: the Billings Arcade, an arched passage with a remarkable past.

Wandering through the park's lush pathways to find these stunning remains is a great way to spend an afternoon—and take some memorable pictures.

The photogenic arcade was once part of Tryon Hall, a mansion built by wealthy horseman Cornelius K.G. Billings to be close to the nearby racetrack (today’s Harlem River Drive). Construction on the $2 million estate began in 1901 and was completed in 1907.

The Billings Arcade, the hidden remains of a spectacular mansion in Fort Tryon Park

In 1917, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. bought the property, but the life of Tryon Hall was short-lived: it burned down in 1925.

Soon after, Rockefeller incorporated the land into what would become Fort Tryon Park. Today, the portico—as well as the entrance to the driveway and a nearby gatehouse—are almost all that's left of the Billings Mansion.

The entrance to the driveway of the Billings Mansion

To explore the arcade yourself, take the A train to the 190th Street station and use the Fort Washington Avenue exit to head north toward Fort Tryon Park.

Enter Fort Tryon Park through its main southern entrance at Margaret Corbin Plaza. Take the first path on the left and head down toward the Billings Lawn.

Two paths lead down from the Billings Lawn to the Billings Arcade

The arches are completely hidden beneath the lawn (the exact GPS coordinates are 40°51'36.9"N 73°56'05.5"W). To reach them, head to the bottom of the slope where you'll find two paths.

One takes you down a set of narrow stairs; the other immediately to the left serves as an alternate route with fewer stairs (both pictured above). The Billings Arcade is all the way at the bottom, parallel to the West Side Highway.

A set of narrow stairs leads down to the Billings Arcade

Don't want to take the steep stairs back to the top? Follow the path all the way north through the arches, leading you to an alternate route that connects to the top of the lawn.

All photos: Morgan Mackey

For daily updates, follow The Curious Uptowner on Facebook, Instagram and X

Screen Shot 2020-11-18 at 2.39.32 PM.png
  • Black Pinterest Icon
  • Black Twitter Icon
  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Instagram Icon
bottom of page