Monday, April 25, 2016


A photo from 1905 shows a view of 127th Street from 7th Avneue looking towards 8th Avenue with the elevated train in the distance.  When the very efficient street grid was formed for Harlem, taller tenements with anchor stores had been planned for the main avenues and the sides streets all had townhouses.  Urban renewal after the Depression years ended up breaking the grid up and destroying many of these historic blocks by replacing them with massive, isolated towers.  

The lower photo shows the block today which has one newer construction that engages the avenue and the towers in the park apartments on the north side.  As far as modern city planning goes, things have gone back to the original concept of leaving higher rise buildings on the main boulevards while the residential side streets are usually zoned for a lower level.  Archival image courtesy the Museum of the City of New York

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