Located on the east side of Midtown to the south of Grand Central Terminal at 42nd Street, this residential enclave is increasingly attracting affluent young families. It's southern border is 34th street and the bulk of the neighborhood lies between Madison Avenue and the East River. The neighborhood derives its name from the Murray family, Quaker merchants who had made quite the name for themselves by the 18th century.
Robert Murray, patriarch of the Murray family, arrived in New York in 1753. Originally from Pennsylvania, Robert Murray was a merchant mostly concerned with overseas trade. He would come to own more shipping tonnage than any other merchant in New York. Around 1762, Robert Murray built Inclenberg, the manor that would house his family and oversee his farmland estate. Also known as Belmont, the estate was most popularly regarded as "Murray Hill," the name which the area still holds today.
Another Murray, perhaps one of the most famous, is Mary Lindley Murray. On the 15th of September, 1776, Mrs. Murray played a key role in securing American independence from British Rule. George Washington's army was in retreat after the British Landing at Kips' Bay. Mrs. Murray stepped in and invited William Howe, leader of the British Army, and his offices to tea at Inclenberg. Through her charm and feminine wiles, she managed to delay the officers, and thus the advance of the British Army, two hours. This gave the retreating revolutionary soldiers time to secure their escape. Four thousand American soldiers, who would otherwise have been cut off and captured, were saved by Mrs. Murray, her tea, cakes and hospitality.
Murray Hill's central location makes it a comfortable walk to work for many. Its easy access to shops, restaurants and movie theaters, along with surprisingly attractive price-per-square footage, means that many of the Hill's residents believe they’ve found the best housing deals in town…and they’re often correct!
Murray Hill’s filmic streets are a mix of classic "New York" townhouses and modern high-rise buildings, with the magnificent Morgan Museum & Library (named after banker Pierpont Morgan), the new and fabulous W Hotel, and the Jazz Standard club, home to local and international touring musicians (and a lip-smacking BBQ rib menu from Danny Meyer’s Blue Smoke restaurant) also part of the scenery. Other spectacular landmarks include the Scandinavian House and the former Beau Arts Building, now the Consulate General of Poland. The Consulate General of Mexico and the Consulate General of South Africa maintain presences there as well.
The neighborhood also houses the Sumitomo Corporate offices and several notable restaurants, from the AQ Cafe (located inside the aforementioned Scandinavian House) to the elegant Korean Tea Shop Franchia, as well as hotspots like the Water club (known for its seafood and views of the nearby river) and Hangawi. There are also several excellent Indian restaurants in the area, including Curry Leaf, leading to the area's sometime nickname "Curry Hill."
Murray Hill also boasts a number of prime nightlife spots. Ginger Man offers over 100 kinds of beer and a huge variety of whiskeys, and bars such as Morgan's and Wet Bar round out the neighborhood offerings. If visiting, the area has several unique hotels. Hotel Dylan boasts the popular Alchemy Room (a favorite bar in the area). The Kitano offers rooms in both Western and Japanese style, while The Library Hotel's rooms are each designed with a unique literary theme and an accompanying personal library of appropriate titles in each.
Murray Hill has no less than three of the world's leading medical centers, and is a proud neighbor to such iconic New York landmarks as the Empire State Building and Chrysler Building; the Hill is also (almost) home to some of the city's foremost shopping: Macy's, Barton-Sharpe Limited and Lord & Taylor are within walking blocks…not to mention everything you could ever want to say "I Heart NY"!
Transportation to and from the neighborhood is available by taxi or MTA bus, and green line subway service (4, 5, and 6 lines) out of Grand Central Terminal.