Monday, June 28, 2010

☞ REMEMBER: The Italian Savings Bank

Before it became El Barrio, East Harlem was the largest Italian neighborhood in the United States and the little building on 116th Street and Third Avenue is a relic of that past. The top photo (circa 1930) shows the Italian Savings Bank at 204 East 116th Street with the name clearly engraved at the front facade. By the end of the 1950's, the population of the East Harlem's Italian community drastically diminished with the arrival of the urban renewal housing projects that would wipe out much of the neighborhood blocks. The buildings on East 116th Street are still pretty much intact but the neighborhood has become more of a Mexican enclave in the most recent years. The lower photo shows the Ortiz Funeral Home (without any of windows) that presides in the bank building today. Read more about Italian Harlem in our past post: LINK. Archival photo courtesy of NYPL. Current facade photo by Ulysses

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