Located at the northern end of Manhattan, Harlem has long been an important hub of culture and creativity. From the Harlem Renaissance to today, the area holds a critical place as a historic center of African American culture. It has been home to famous residents such as Zora Neale Hudson and Langston Hughes, brought together iconic artists including Josephine Baker and Duke Ellington, and remains at the heart of New York’s artistic community. Though Harlem has changed as gentrification creeps north, there are still many cultural anchors that retain the historic soul of the neighborhood. From dance and jazz to museums large and small, here is an art lover’s guide to Harlem.
Studio Museum in Harlem
To celebrate Black History Month, ride-hailing company Lyft is offering one free ride to black-owned businesses, history museums, and memorials in New York City. According to the company, 82 percent of Lyft drivers identify with a minority group, which makes the company “see the importance of celebrating the diversity that we have right around us.”
Exterior view from 125th Street Plaza. Courtesy Adjaye Associates
The Studio Museum in Harlem is scheduled to break ground on a new 82,000-square-foot home, designed by internationally renowned British architect David Adjaye, in late fall of 2018. Director and Chief Curator Thelma Golden and Chairman of the Board of Trustees Raymond J. Mc Guire unveiled designs for the new building Tuesday along with the announcement of a $175 million capital campaign to fund and maintain the new museum space. The groundbreaking coincides with the celebrated cultural institution’s 50th anniversary year. In 2015, the museum announced that it would be working with Adjaye Associates in collaboration with Cooper Robertson on the new building, having outgrown its current home, a century-old building on West 125th Street that it has occupied since 1982.
Studio Museum in Harlem Reveals New 125th Street Building; Remembering Coney Island’s Elephant Hotel, Mon, July 6, 2015
- ShelfPack is a genius suitcase that pulls out into a series of collapsible shelves, which means you never have to actually unpack. [Travel + Leisure]
- The Studio Museum in Harlem reveals renderings for its new $122 million David Adjaye-designed building on 125th Street. [NYT]
- Check out the New York Hall of Science’s renovated Great Hall, designed to feel like deep space. [Arch Daily]
- Remembering the gaudy elephant hotel of 1880s Coney Island, a 200-foot structure with a gilded howdah observatory. [Ephemeral NY]
- This little sensor slipped under your mattress creates a smart bed that can find your body’s natural sleep cycle. [designboom]
14th Street, 23rd Street, 86th Street–there’s no question that these east-west thoroughfares are some of the city’s most bustling corridors of commercial, cultural, and residential activity. And 125th Street in Harlem could now be joining their ranks, a real estate trend dissected in a WSJ article today.
Big-name NYC developers are cashing in on the street’s transformation. Greystone & Co. bought a $11.5 million site through a bankruptcy auction earlier this month, where they’ll put 75 market-rate and affordable apartments, along with ground-floor retail space. Across the street, Continuum Co. will add 700 residential units and 85,000 square feet of retail. Nearby, Wharton Properties has obtained funding for their 33,000-square-foot retail complex that will be anchored by Whole Foods.