Photo via Wiki Commons
At 102 West 116th Street in Harlem sits a mosque singularly incorporated into the cityscape. The building houses street-level commercial businesses and is topped by a large green dome, the structure in-between used as a Sunni Muslim mosque. While the property has seen much local history pass through it, it is not landmarked.
Before becoming a religious structure, the lot used to contain the Lenox Casino, a space which was often rented for meetings by the Socialist Party and used as a theatrical performance venue for a number of then-renowned artists. Built in 1905 and designed by Lorenz F. J. Weiher, the Lenox Casino was raided in 1912 for showing “illegal films” in an escapade grippingly documented by the New York Times.
The structure has had many lives
Image via Google Maps.
The Beaux Arts firehouse that has been the home of the Faison Firehouse Theater since 1999 (with a celebrated “official” inaugural opening in 2007 that included a presentation by Maya Angelou) is for sale as part of a development property package, asking $13 million. The building at 6 Hancock Place in West Harlem is being offered with a neighboring vacant lot and a four-story townhouse, which together add up to a total of 30,000 square feet. The Faison Firehouse Theater was founded by Tony award winning choreographer George Faison and his partner, Tad Schnugg, and has been operated by the American Performing Arts Collaborative (APAC).
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Statue of Dr. J. Marion Sims in Central Park. Image: Wikimedia Commons.
New York City’s Public Design Commission voted unanimously Monday in favor of removing a statue of 19th century surgeon J. Marion Sims from its Central Park pedestal, the New York Times reports. It was recommended that the statue of the controversial doctor, who conducted experimental surgeries on female slaves without their consent (and without anesthesia), be removed from its spot at 103rd Street in East Harlem after Mayor Bill de Blasio asked for a review of “symbols of hate” on city property eight months ago. 6sqft previously reported on the request by Manhattan Community Board 11 to remove the East Harlem statue of Sims, who is regarded as the father of modern gynecology. The statue, which will be moved to Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery where the doctor is buried, represents the city’s first decision to make changes to a prominent monument since the review.
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Photo of Harlem via Ian Freimuth/Flickr
Just hours ago, 6sqft published an article about how many middle-income New Yorkers forego affordable housing opportunities because the “affordable” units are actually more expensive than their current market-rate homes. And now here’s a perfect example. Five units are available through the city’s housing lottery in the heart of Harlem, at 10 West 132nd Street, but the two studios are $1,900/month and the three one-bedrooms are $2,270/month. For a two-person household earning between $ 77,829 and $ 108,550 annually, is a $2,300 monthly rent payment really affordable?
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Martin Luther King Jr. at the 1963 Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. via Wiki Commons
Fifty years ago, on April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was shot as he stood on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. This ended the life of one of the 20th century’s most revered and influential figures. It also began a 15-year campaign to make Dr. King’s birthday a national holiday — the first-ever honoring an African American. That successful quest began with and was spearheaded by a native son of Greenwich Village, Howard Bennett. Bennett was one of the last residents of a Greenwich Village community known as “Little Africa,” a predominantly African-American section of the neighborhood which was, for much of New York’s history through the 19th century, the largest and most important African-American community in the city. That neighborhood centered around present-day Minetta, Thompson, Cornelia, and Gay Streets.
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Rendering via MAP Architects
A brand new East Harlem mixed-use development, known as Acacia Gardens, now has 124 middle- income apartments up for grabs. The 12-story brick building at 411 East 120th Street, the site of a former parking lot, includes over 180,000 square feet of residential space. Qualifying New Yorkers earning 60 and 100 percent of the area median income can apply for units ranging from an $822/month studio to a $1,706/month three-bedroom.
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Photos via LPC
The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) on Tuesday officially designated three East Harlem buildings as individual landmarks, marking them as some of the neighborhood’s most culturally significant structures. The landmarks include a former 19th-century meatpacking house and two former public schools. The LPC chair, Meenakshi Srinivasan, said the buildings were designated for their architectural and cultural significance. “They embody East Harlem’s unique development history and recognize the civic institutions and businesses that helped shape the lives of the neighborhood’s immigrant groups,” Srinivasan said in a statement.
6sqft’s series “My sqft” checks out the homes of New Yorkers across all the boroughs. Our latest interior adventure brings us to the Harlem apartment of Aria and John Chiaraviglio. Want to see your home featured here? Get in touch!
When asked to sum up the aesthetic of their Harlem apartment in a few words, Aria and John Chiaraviglio chose “inviting, unique, open, retro and fun,” and after a recent visit to the full-floor brownstone home, we couldn’t agree more. Aria, a Doctoral student in Child Psychology, and John, Vice President of the Financial Intelligence Unit of a major bank, both grew up in NYC–she in Tribeca and he on the Upper East Side. The old-school, quirky vibes reminiscent of artist-loft Tribeca are seen everywhere, from Aria’s Elvis collection to the couple’s countless vintage finds, yet the traditional style one would associate with uptown are brought out through mid-century modern furnishings and an attention to entertaining.
Ahead, take a tour of this spunky couple’s colorful, comfy, and classy home and learn about their best thrifted pieces, the theme parties they host, their Derby collection, and why they love living in Harlem.
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6sqft’s series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment, Albert Vecerka shares some images from his “Harlem project.” Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].
After moving to New York in 1992 and earning a degree in architecture from City College, Yugoslavia-born photographer Albert Vecerka moved to Harlem and started documenting the neighborhood. Originally an attempt to dispel the notion that Harlem was “dangerous,” his “Harlem project,” also captures its architectural fabric and aesthetic changes over time. 6qft recently caught up with Vecerka to hear his thoughts on Harlem–what it was like 20 years ago and why he still calls it home.
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There’s no overlooking this studio apartment from the former Harlem public school at 220 West 148th Street. Carved from the early 1900s school building, this is a 750-square-foot pad with 12-foot ceilings and light through three exposures. In this bright space, the current owner has packed every corner with a rococo-inspired design. Plenty of elaborate touches make this feel less like a tight studio and rather a lofty apartment with plenty to look at.
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