You’re probably familiar with the big attractions in the Bronx: Yankee Stadium, the New York Botanical Garden, and the Bronx Zoo. But the borough has a lot more going on, from historic and cultural treats and treasures to new breweries and restaurants and acres of beaches, parks, trails, and gardens. Read on for a collection of destinations in the city’s northernmost, greenest, and most diverse borough that are worth the trip, wherever you’re coming from.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first historic district designated by New York City in the Bronx. Mott Haven was designated in 1969 by the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission for its architecture “representative of the best of the second half of the nineteenth century.” Landmarks later designated the Mott Haven East Historic District and the Bertine Block Historic District, also in the neighborhood, in 1994. Designated the same year as the Greenwich Village Historic District, the Mott Haven Historic Districts Association is working to bring this historic neighborhood to the same level of local and national prominence as its Manhattan sibling.
In honor of the 50th anniversary, the Association uncovered the story behind 10 historic sites in Mott Haven–from the ironworking factory that lent its name to the neighborhood to two incredibly intact stretches of rowhouses to an early piano factory.
When the West Farms Redevelopment Plan came to fruition in 2011, it was the largest private rezoning ever in the Bronx. The 17-acre, 11-block site in Crotona Park East was a former industrial area that’s being transformed according to a master plan by Dattner Architects that calls for a total of 1,325 units of affordable housing and 46,000 square feet of retail space and community facilities. The first two buildings in the complex, also designed by Dattner, are called the Compass Residences and offer 237 units organized around a series of “gracious courtyards.” As of today, 114 of these apartments are available through the city’s affordable housing lottery. They’re open to individuals earning 60 percent of the area media income and range from $822/month studios to $1,224/month three-bedrooms.