Thursday, January 28, 2010
☞ REMEMBER: 303 East 127th Street Circa 1931
After hearing about the Harlem African Burial grounds on First Avenue at 127th Street, we wanted to really see what the area looked like before the government took over the space. Our research came up with a property that was listed at 303 East 127th Street that stood on the plot up to the early 1940's. The vine covered wood frame house was probably one of the oldest in East Harlem and must have dated back to the mid 1800's at about the time of the Civil War. This plot of land was the eastern most fringe of Harlem and would have had unobstructed river views back in the 19th Century. The elevated 2nd Avenue El train can be seen to the right of the house which no longer exist today.
The property was probably abandoned or sold by the mid 20th century and the city transformed the entire area into the 126th Street Bus Depot which takes up an entire two blocks (lower photo). Today, the area behind the house is basically unrecognizable with exit ramps to the Willis Avenue Bridge covering most of the terrain. This week, politicians gathered at the oldest Church in Harlem to discuss how the city could possibly handle any excavation when they upgrade and develop infrastructure of the land in the future. Read more about it in our past post: LINK. The closest train to this area is the 4,5,6 at 125th Street Archival photos courtesy NYPL. Current photo by Ulysses