Harlem

Harlem, History

cultural center, memorial, harlem, harlem african burial ground

Image courtesy of NYCEDC.

The city’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC) has said it will begin the search for a nonprofit organization to operate the long-in-the-works Harlem African Burial Ground in East Harlem this fall. A decade of research and planning has gone into the task of converting the city block–home to the unused MTA 126th Street bus depot–into a cultural center and outdoor memorial that will honor its past state as a burial ground for enslaved and free African people. City officials say the project will make use of new apartments rising on a newly-rezoned adjoining site as an ongoing source of funding, as first reported by THE CITY.

Find out more

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Features, Harlem, History

New York’s famous 369th (Old 15th) Infantry Regiment arrives home from France. Via the National Archives

In the earliest hours of May 15, 1918, Henry Johnson and Needham Roberts of the 369th Infantry Regiment, better known as the Harlem Hellfighters, an all-black American unit serving under French command in World War I, were keeping guard over a frontline trench in France’s Argonne Forest, about 115 miles east of Paris. Suddenly, two-dozen German soldiers charged out of the pitch-black no-man’s-land. Despite being stabbed 21 times and shot at least twice, Johnson killed four German soldiers, repelled the other 20, and saved his injured comrade Roberts from capture, using little more than a nine-inch bolo knife. Days later, the French Army stood at attention as Johnson and Roberts became the first Americans ever awarded the Croix de Guerre, France’s highest military honor. Johnson’s metal included a Golden Palm, for extraordinary valor.

Johnson and Robert’s decorations were the first of 171 individual Croix de Guerre medals awarded to members of the Harlem Hellfighters. By the war’s end, the Croix would be awarded to the unit as a whole, in recognition of its incredible contribution to the war effort: The Hellfighters spent a stunning 191 days at the Front, more than any other American unit. In that time, they never lost a trench to the enemy or a man to capture. Instead, they earned the respect of both allies and enemies, helped introduce Jazz to France, and returned home to a grateful city where hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers turned out to welcome home 3,000 Hellfighter heroes in a victory parade that stretched from 23rd Street and 5th Avenue to 145th Street and Lenox.

The whole history

Harlem, New Developments, Policy

View of the proposed new tower, looking north from 5th Avenue and 108th Street

A church has filed an application with New York City to rezone a strip of Central Park North in order to make way for a new mixed-use tower. La Hermosa Christian Church is seeking zoning changes to all or part of at least five lots along West 110th Street, as first reported by YIMBY. A 188-page environmental assessment statement prepared for the Department of City Planning this week details the development of a 33-story mixed-use tower with 160 units, of which roughly 48 would be affordable.

See the plan

Harlem, New Developments

Rendering courtesy of The Janus Property Group.

From the mid-19th to early 20th century, an area in West Harlem known as Manhattanville was a bustling industrial village dotted with factories and breweries. Now the area is transforming from a unique former factory district into a home for a growing roster of commercial businesses, nonprofits, and students and researchers from Columbia University and CUNY’s City College. Leading the way on developing this evolving neighborhood is Janus Property Group. The company announced that its 11-story Taystee Lab building will break ground next week, bringing the city’s first major life science campus to the site of a former bread bakery.

More uptown excitement, this way

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Features, Harlem, Interviews

Joe Cruz Jr. (right) at the Jalisco distillery

With Cinco de Mayo on Sunday, New Yorkers most certainly have margaritas on the brain. And while we may typically associate tequila with Mexico, a new label here in NYC is bridging the divide between our southern neighbor and local entrepreneurship. Joe Cruz Jr. grew up in Harlem, spending much of his younger years hanging out in the Bronx. After working in the beverage industry for many years, he decided to take a mere $25,000 and create his own “ultra-smooth” tequila right from Harlem. And so in late 2017, YaVe Tequila was born. Not only has the company garnered culinary headlines (it produces the first-ever mango-flavored tequila), but it’s caught the attention of local stakeholders thanks to Joe’s commitment to working with his neighborhood.

Read on for our interview with Joe

affordable housing, Harlem, New Developments

One East Harlem, 201 East 125th Street, S9 Architecture

Rendering courtesy of S9 Architecture

Long in the works as part of the larger East 125th Street Development project, One East Harlem officially broke ground yesterday. Located at 201 East 125th Street, the 19-story building designed by S9 Architecture will rise on the corner of 125th Street and Third Avenue, bringing over 400 mixed-income apartments, nearly 300 of which will be affordable, 65,000 square feet of commercial space, 5,000 square feet of cultural facilities, and 10,000 square feet of public open space to the neighborhood. Developed by a consortium—Richman Group Development, Bridges Development Group, and Monadnock Development—One East Harlem is slated for completion in 2021.

More info

affordable housing, Harlem, housing lotteries

Applications are now being accepted for 144 mixed-income apartments at a brand new East Harlem building. Developed by SKA Marin, the building at 1912 First Avenue, called The Gilbert on First, rises 16 stories and contains just over 150 apartments. Qualifying New Yorkers earning between $13,200 and $199,650 annually can apply for the apartments, which range from a $328/month studio to a $3,009/month three-bedroom.

Here’s how to apply

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Features, Harlem, History

Shepard Hall at the City College of New York via Wikimedia

Now that “Operation Varsity Blues” has shown afresh the ways in which the nation’s elite can buy admission into prestigious universities, it may be instructive to consider the history City College, the flagship of the CUNY system, and the first free institution of higher education in the nation. Founded as The Free Academy of the City of New York in 1847, City College has long nurtured brilliant students from all walks of life as the “The Harvard of the Proletariat,” and served as an engine of upward mobility for New Yorkers and other strivers from around the world. As the home of the first student government in the nation, the first student-led strike, and the first degree-granting evening program, City boasts a legacy of equity and equality that reflects the best ideals of the city it serves.

Get the full history

affordable housing, Harlem, housing lotteries

Google Street View of Bethune Towers

A lottery for waiting list spots for Mitchell-Lama rental apartments in Bethune Towers at 650 Lenox Avenue is about to open for New York state residents. Rents range from $741 for a studio to $1,215 for a one-bedroom unit. Preference will be given to documented veterans who are selected in the lottery. The deadline to apply for all is April 2, 2019. Some apartments in the building have balconies and views of the Harlem River and the 145th Street Bridge, and the 3 subway is only a few blocks away.

Find out more about Mitchell-Lama and how to apply

affordable housing, Harlem, housing lotteries

Image courtesy of El Barrio’s Artspace PS109. Photo by Christopher Lopez.

A housing lottery has opened for 400 spots on the wait list for residential units at El Barrio’s Artspace PS109 at 215 East 99th Street in East Harlem. Built in 1899, the limestone-and-brick neighborhood landmark was a school building until 1996. In 2015 it became El Barrio’s Artspace PS109, a project that transformed the then-abandoned public school building into a housing complex for local artists with affordable live/work housing for artists and their families and 10,000 square feet of complementary space for arts organizations. Qualifying New Yorkers earning between 40 and 60 percent of the area median income can apply for apartments which range from a $731/month studio to a $1,348/month two-bedroom.

Find out how to apply

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