Thursday, August 14, 2014

REMEMBER: THE CONVENT OF THE SACRED HEART


An archival photo shows a Convent of the Sacred Heart building which stood on the south end of what is now the City College campus for most of the 20th century.   City College had purchased the building by West 130th Street and Convent Avenue back in the 1950s but would demolish the site that had been part of West Harlem since 1841 within the following two decades.  Today not much of the old south campus exists  but a small house that used to be reserved for the president of the college stands close by at the entrance of secured by cast iron gates.

4 comments:

  1. The small house is now the "City College Child Development Center" a day care for children of CCNY students.

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  2. Fun fact: the basement of the building (Finley Student Center when CCNY used it) still partially exists below a hill, or at least it did before construction of the new science buildings got into full swing. When I went to school there I'd stick my camera down little holes in the hill and come back with pictures of tiled walls (albeit next to collapsed beams and debris).

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  3. Anybody know what year the nuns left? Curious, because I just read a Chester Himes novel published in 1960, and the convent is depicted as still being active at the time.

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  4. Chester Himes' Harlem novels are based on a purely imaginary, fictional Harlem -- you might even say that is part of the charm of his titles. He didn't know the actual neighborhood at all. It is possible, however, that his narrative relied upon word of mouth about certain aspects of the community, for instance the convent in question.

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