Blame Charles Addams.
The mansard roof home he created for the ghoulish Addams Family will forever be associated with Halloween.
Luckily, New Yorkers interested in the spooky architectural style as the holiday approaches don't have to look far: a northern corner of Harlem has its fair share of historic buildings featuring the look.
Take a walk through Hamilton Heights and neighboring Sugar Hill to find this roof style that surged in popularity during the post-Civil War era—and is now practically synonymous with all things macabre.
Here are five of the best, from south to north:
72 Hamilton Terrace
Just east of Convent Ave and 144th St
Built in 1898, this single-family residence recently underwent a gut renovation and is now one of the neighborhood's most photogenic.
1854 Amsterdam Avenue
Corner of Amsterdam Ave and 152nd St
This landmarked building from 1871 was once the 32nd Precinct Mounted Police Station. Today it houses a church as well as the headquarters of environmental advocacy group WE ACT.
Caretaker's Cottage at Trinity Church Cemetery
Corner of Amsterdam Ave and 153rd St
Already spooky by dint of its location and boarded-up windows, this 19th-century house on the grounds of the historic Trinity Church Cemetery once served as a home for its caretaker.
411 W 154th Street and 887 St. Nicholas Avenue
W 154th Street and St Nicholas Avenue
Part of a whole row of houses built by architect James Stroud in 1883, these two homes are just around the corner from each other. The one on 154th Street has a particularly significant history—in the 1940s it housed the Modern School, a progressive Black private school founded by educator Mildred Johnson Edwards (check out this report card listing the address); today it's the Bryant Memorial Zion Baptist Church.
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