Manida Street in the Bronx becomes NYC’s 150th historic district

June 23, 2020

Streetview of 842 Manida Avenue, Map data © 2020 Google

The Bronx has gained a new historic district, making it the 150th district to be landmarked in New York City. The Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday voted to designate the Manida Street Historic, a block of semi-attached brick homes in Hunts Points. Residents first pushed for the South Bronx street to be recognized in 2010, as development began to accelerate in the neighborhood. “This gem of a district is a complete district that still exists and is not only a reminder of the 20th-century residential development of the South Bronx, but it’s also a reflection and testament to the commitment of its current community,” LPC Chair Sarah Carroll said on Tuesday.

Streetview of 843 Manida Avenue, Map data © 2020 Google

The Historic District consists of 42 properties between 814 and 870 Manida Street, which represent “an intact example of the early 20th-century development” in the neighborhood that coincided with the launch of the subway and industrialization of the area, according to the LPC.

According to a 2010 New York Times article, when the designation was first proposed, the homes along the 800 block of Manida Avenue were built around the turn of the century in a “Flemish architectural style that would have been familiar to the Bronx’s overwhelmingly Germanic population at the time.”

With the introduction of the subway to the Bronx in 1904, the area began its transformation from rural to urban, becoming one of the largest industrial areas in the city. The subway, along with access to the waterfront and the Oak Point Yard rail yard, made Hunts Point ideal for the growth of industries.

And as one of the only remaining blocks of early 20th-century architecture in Hunts Point, the intact residences on Manida stand out significantly against its commercial and manufacturing neighbors.

The boundary of the  historic district, courtesy of LPC

Two developers and two developers led the design and construction of the block between 1908 and 1909. The LPC called the district’s consistent modest Renaissance Revival style a “discreet enclave within Hunts Point.” There are two city landmarks near the block: the American Bank Note Company Printing Plant on Lafayette Avenue and Sunnyslope, a historic home built in 1860 located on Faile Street.

The Manida Street Historic District is now the 13th historic district in the Bronx. Manhattan is home to the most historic districts in the city at more than 80, followed by Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island.

During a public hearing last month, the Historic Districts Council testified in support of the historic district, which called it a “stand-out block” in the borough. “The solid architectural bones of the street, its handsome urban ensemble and the decades of house-proud stewardship continue to communicate its intrinsic worth to new generations of Bronxites,” the HDC said in its designation testimony.

“It’s a classic New York story and this is a classic New York block. The Historic Districts Council salutes the community for all its work in keeping places like this block alive and vital, and thanks the Landmarks Preservation Commission for recognizing the community’s commitment and supporting their efforts.”


Editor’s note: This story was originally published on January 21, 2020, and has since been updated.

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