Wednesday, June 11, 2014


A photo from 1910 shows what the southern border of Manhattanville by Broadway looked like before major construction would change the feel of the entire neighborhood.  The skies were more visible back then and decorative streetlights stood at this juncture where the trains start to go above ground in West Harlem.  Some construction is currently happening by this wall today and we hope that the government could at least capture some of the original charm that is currently lacking when all is done.

Archival image courtesy the Museum of the City of New York


  1. My old neighborhood. I prefer the old by far.

  2. these 2 pictures just highlight what eyesores these housing projects really are

  3. They maybe eyesores, but remember that one of them in the distance is Morningside Gardens, one of the very first progressive, mixed-race, mixed-income housing developments in the city. Thurgood Marshall lived there with his second wife for a while before heading off to Washington to become LBJ's Solicitor General (and then Supreme Court Jusitice). I believe that the pioneering gay, black sci-fi writer Samuel Delany also grew up there.

    Also: I believe that Duke Ellington's 1933 composition "Daybreak Express" was made into a short film showing the #1 train subway either coming out of the tunnel at 122nd Street and down onto the elevated in Harlem, or the other way around. I can't find it on youtube, though (It's not the 1953 D.A. Pennebaker film of the same name, though Pennebaker's does use the same music).

    1. You are correct about Samuel Delaney and his parents living in Morningside Gardens. Although I have never met him, his mother was a mentor to me in the 1960s, when I worked at the nearby library as a teen.

      The message to Anonymous at 10:45 am, is that beautiful and bountiful lives can exist and thrive everywhere; even in what you may call "eyesores".

  4. Also: The decorative wall with the streetlamps seems to be gone--it was there a few years ago. I wonder what the plans are now...