Monday, March 29, 2010

☞ REVIVE: Old Storefronts Uncovered at MMPHD

On Saturday we noticed the scaffolding at the southeast corner of Lenox and 119th Street was finally down after uncountable months of facade repair. Not only where the sidewalks finally revealed but pieces of the building's history also became apparent to the average passerby in the Mount Morris Park Historic District. On 174 Lenox (second photo), the old Harlem Made shop is now visible with its dusty awning and decorative lighting still in place. The large corner space at 176 Lenox has signage still up that advertises J. Levins Law Office which looks to be almost half a century old. The building itself apparently dates back to 1901 and was designed by Robert T. Lyons whose name can now be seen at the corner stone as one passes by (last photo). Does anybody out there remember the background for either of these establishments? The closest train to this location is the 2,3 at 116th Street and 125th Street. Photos by Ulysses.


  1. It is SO cool! It was all blocked by the rolldown gates. The crew is using that space to as storage.

    When they first took the scaffolding down I turned the corner in rather my usual daze and thought I was on the wrong block! Whether or not the lack of scaffolding disperses the crack dealers remains to be seen but it is great to have it gone after all these years.

    They are also stripping/powerwashing the lower bit of the building. With less than spectacular success but should be lovely when done.

  2. I, too, was confused while walking down Lenox a few days ago and noticed the scaffolding gone. It must have been there a good 4-5 years. The drug dealers were there long before the scaffolding!

    Harlemade sold Harlem-themed goods and other gifts (some made by Harlem artisans if I recall correctly). I've got a Lenox Ave t-shirt from there.

  3. Sorry I don't have the answer to your question...but I can offer another interesting piece of information. The commercial spaces are on the market:

    Maybe some life would get rid of the drug dealers...

  4. Thanks. What ever moves in I hope it’s something interesting. I know nothing about commercial real estate. Is 40 per s/f about market for the neighbourhood?

    Crack dealers will just move a bit east. They’re not going anywhere. Half of them live on the block. Some of them are really quite nice. A few are raging sociopaths.

  5. I have no idea if 40 per s/f is a lot...seems huge. But since I am still in the metric system I also have no idea what 40K sf feels like.

    If you live in the area, what is missing? What would you like to see? We might move to Central Harlem after 10 years in West Harlem and I am trying to get a feel for the ares...seems booming & blooming according to this great blog.

    Good to hear that the dealers are nice...our dealers here are real arrogant & loud & proud...and so obvious, gee.