Historic District Council Selects Westchester Square & Arthur Avenue For Annual ‘Six to Celebrate’

Each year, New York City’s Historic District Council selects that they believe, “…merit preservation…” and become priorities for the organization over the course of the year for advocacy and consultation.

We’re super excited that for 2018 they have selected two Bronx locations steeped in history: Westchester Square and Arthur Avenue home of New York City’s REAL Little Italy.

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The landmark St Peter’s Episcopal Church rises above the Westchester Square Station on the 6 subway line and was built between 1853 and 1855. It is also the home of the Bronx Academy of Art and Dance.

HDC writes about Westchester Square:

Westchester Square, now a major transportation hub in the northeast Bronx, was once home to a critical location in the birth of our nation. Hidden in plain sight, sites such as Saint Peter’s Episcopal Church and the Westchester Creek were crucial to American victory in the Revolutionary War. Other sites such as the Huntington Library and above-ground subway station serve as vestiges of the early 20th century innovation and architectural character that continue to anchor the neighborhood today. The Westchester Square Business Improvement District is working to rebrand the area with a focus on its rich history. This public awareness campaign will involve formally documenting its history and commemorating important events through the installation of plaques in and around the Square.

On Arthur Avenue:

Arthur Avenue, the long-time home of The Bronx’s Little Italy, has been a haven for Italian-Americans, Italophiles and curious tourists seeking an authentic shopping and dining experience for generations. In a city that is constantly evolving, its family-run businesses offer consistency, quality and a connection to the past on a storied and historic street. To capture the essence of this place, the Belmont Business Improvement District will undertake a series of oral histories with key constituents and develop an official tour of the area. These place-making initiatives will serve to enhance the public’s experience of and appreciation for Arthur Avenue, as well as ensure that its history is not forgotten. The group also seeks to investigate zoning tools to protect the character and scale of the neighborhood.

It is because of organizations like HDC that we’re able to preserve historic places in New York City for future generations and without their hard work side by side with local residents, New York City just wouldn’t be the same.

These two neighborhoods offer distinct views into our borough’s past, present and a peek into our future which is why it’s important for preservation of these neighborhoods lest they fall under a greedy developer’s crane.

Check out the rest of the Six to Celebrate across NYC.

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