Tuesday, December 17, 2013

REMEMBER: Frederick Douglass Boulevard c. 1980

A photo by Camilo Jose Vergara shows what South Harlem used to look like back in the 80s.  Some new residents wonder what the good old days were about uptown but maybe the 80s was not the decade in question.  The area below 125th Street on FDB/8th Avenue consisted of mostly open lots from burned down buildings and boarded up tenements during that period in time.  Drug dealing and crime was rampant and Columbia University advised its students to stay clear of nearby Morningside Park.  Many families moved further north in Harlem to get away from South Harlem in the 1970s and 1980s.

The lower photo shows the same buildings by 114th Street today which has a different outlook.  All of the empty shells and lots have either now been built on or restored in a part of town that is now replenishing its numbers.  South Harlem is now a mixed economy with new residents of many backgrounds and even different nationalities that have all helped the neighborhood become a desirable place to live once more.

1 comment:

  1. The difference is pretty astonishing. I remember the New York of those days, and it's nice to see that Harlem has come a long way.