Harlem

Harlem, Policy

lenox terrace, rezoning, harlem

Aerial view of the developer’s planned updates. Credit: Davis Brody Bond

Manhattan Community Board 10 voted Wednesday night against a developer’s plan that would substantially rezone the Lenox Terrace neighborhood in Central Harlem and pave the way for construction of five new 28-story luxury towers and big-box retail stores. The rezoning application, filed by the Olnick Organization, asked the city to rezone Lenox Terrace from its current residential status to the C6-2 designation found in “the central business district and regional commercial centers,” according to the city’s zoning resolution. The community board’s vote sided with the Lenox Terrace Association of Concerned Tenants (LT-ACT), which opposes the rezoning and has demanded the developer withdraw the application.

More on the resolution this way

Events, Harlem, History

Museum of Food and Drink, African/American: Making the Nation's Table

Exhibition renderings courtesy of the Museum of Food and Drink

Next February the Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD) will bring together the country’s first exhibition celebrating the countless ways in which African Americans have shaped American cuisine. Curated by Dr. Jessica B. Harris, a leading expert on the foods of the African Diaspora, African/American: Making the Nation’s Table will take place at The Africa Center in Harlem and feature musical selections by Questlove, tastings by Chef Carla Hall, and a restoration of the historic Ebony Magazine Test Kitchen.

More details

Harlem, History

Mount morris fire watchtower, harlem fire watchtower, renovation, restoration, city landmarks, parks

Photo credit: Daniel Avila / NYC Parks.

The Harlem Fire Watchtower, also known as the Mount Morris Fire Watchtower, is the last structure of its kind in New York City. The 47-foot-tall tower was erected in 1856, the third of 11 fire towers built in Manhattan. Fire watchtowers were discontinued after 1878, but the bell in its tower continued to ring at 9am and noon for years after. The historic cast-iron tower has been restored and reunited with its original surroundings in Marcus Garvey park after having been in storage since 2015.

Find out more

Cool Listings, Harlem, Historic Homes

147-149 West 123rd Street, Harlem, churches, church conversions, cool listings

Photo credit: Matt Vacca courtesy of Compass.

New York City’s church conversions always draw interest and curiosity; whether they symbolize tranquility–or just offer a unique setting that often includes stained-glass windows with heavenly light and miles-high cathedral ceilings–they transcend the ordinary. This historic, landmarked Harlem church, built in 1897, is now on the market for $6.25 million. Home to the Greater Metropolitan Baptist Church since 1985, the building is zoned residential, so, according to the listing, it can become a single-family home. Built in the English Gothic style and first dedicated as St. Paul’s German Evangelical Lutheran Church, the house of worship is a reflection of the neighborhood’s many layers of history. The listing calls on “sophisticated buyers and developers” to seize the chance to be responsible for the next chapter in the life of this neighborhood icon.

From 80-foot spires to a classic church basement

Harlem

cultural center, memorial, harlem, harlem african burial ground

Image of 126 Street Bus Depot courtesy of NYCEDC

The city’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC) is now accepting bids for the long-planned redevelopment of the East 126th Street Metropolitan Transportation Authority Bus Depot into a memorial and cultural education center honoring the historic African burial ground found in the early 2000s at the site. In collaboration with the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, the EDC has released a request for expressions of interest looking for a non-profit organization to operate the cultural center and outdoor memorial in Harlem.

More details

Art, Design, Harlem

Renderings by Focus Lighting

Harlem-based architectural lighting firm Focus Lighting has worked on some pretty impressive projects here in NYC, from the Times Square ball to the Waldorf Astoria. But they’re also getting involved in their local community, thinking about how they can transform the Riverside Drive Viaduct–a 50-foot-tall elevated steel roadway that runs from 125th to 135th Streets. As the firm notes, during the day, the structure’s grand arches serve as a picturesque background to the neighborhood and the Hudson River, but at night, they “go completely unlit and unutilized.” Their proposal, called The Arches of Harlem, seeks to incorporate a new programmable lighting composition every three months, each one “inspired by select works of historic artists and emerging local talent.”

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affordable housing, Harlem, housing lotteries

The building is near Central Park’s Conservatory Garden; Photo by Cultivar 413 / Flickr cc

399 affordable units are becoming available at a newly constructed building at 1465 Park Avenue and 128 East 108th Street in East Harlem in the rental building known as The Carolina (formerly Lexington Gardens II). The 15-floor building also contains 4,000 square feet of retail space and 38,000 square feet of community space. A solid collection of amenities includes an on-site superintendent, a fitness center, landscaped courtyards, roof terraces, on-site laundry, bicycle storage and Amazon hub lockers. Qualifying applicants earning 30, 60, and 165 percent of the area median income can apply for units that range from $680/month studios to $3,316/month three-bedrooms. There are also eight project-based Section 8 units for which eligible residents pay 30 percent of income.

Find out how to apply

Green Design, Harlem, Landscape Architecture

The north end of Central Park around the Harlem Meer is one of its most beautiful vistas, but because of the large, obtrusive Lasker Rink and Pool, it is currently disconnected from the North Woods below it, as well as the rest of the park. To better connect the area, the Central Park Conservancy and the City of New York today revealed a $150 million project to build a new pool and rink that will bring year-round recreation, as well as integrate into the surrounding landscape and restore lost pedestrian connections.

See all the renderings and plans

Featured Story

Features, Harlem, History

Dorrance Brooks Square: A Harlem enclave with World War and civil rights ties

By Historic Districts Council, Wed, September 4, 2019

Photo courtesy of the Dorrance Brooks Property Owners and Residents Association

This post is part of a series by the Historic Districts Council, exploring the groups selected for their Six to Celebrate program, New York’s only targeted citywide list of preservation priorities.

By many accounts, Dorrance Brooks Square is considered the first public square named for a black soldier. The little Harlem park, just east of the larger St. Nicholas Park, was dedicated in 1925 to honor African-American infantryman Dorrance Brooks for his bravery during WWI. Prior to that, the area was very much associated with the Harlem Renaissance, home to jazz musician Lionel Hampton and sociologist and civil rights activist W.E.B. DuBois, among others. Later, it became a key location for social and political gatherings and speeches during the Civil Rights era. Today, the quaint neighborhood is home to an incredibly intact collection of late 19th-century rowhouses, built at the time for upper-middle-class professionals, as well as four culturally and architecturally significant churches.

For all these reasons, the Dorrance Brooks Property Owners and Residents Association is advocating for an official landmark designation of the Dorrance Brooks Square Historic District, which would run up Edgecombe Avenue between West 136th and 140th Streets. To give 6sqft more information on this history of this neighborhood, the Association has mapped out the six most significant sites.

Learn all the history right here

Cool Listings, Harlem

Listing images by Rise Media; courtesy of Compass

By day, Ron Dominguez worked as a doorman at some of the Upper East Side’s finest addresses—including 1040 Fifth Avenue, the building Jackie Kennedy Onassis called home. At his home in Harlem, he focused on his passion: collecting pop-surrealist art. “I don’t know any other doorman that happens to be a psychotic art collector,” he told the Wall Street Journal in 2014. “I was hustling a full-time job in one [building] and part-time in two others to support my art habit.” After a long career, Dominguez is moving to Cuba—the country his family fled in 1971—and his two-bedroom apartment is now on the market for $1.275 million, art not included.

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