Since 2011, The Historic District Council has put out a yearly list of six neighborhoods across New York City that are not only historically and architecturally significant but are threatened by encroaching development that may erase these gems forever.
This year three of the ‘Six to Celebrate‘ are in The Bronx where HDC will provide assistance in preservation efforts along with local organizations in the Hunts Point, Kingsbridge, and Bedford Park.
According to ‘Six to Celebrate’: “The six, chosen from applications submitted by community organizations, are selected on the basis of the architectural and historic merit of the area, the level of threat, the strength and willingness of local advocates, and potential for HDC’s preservation support to be meaningful.”
Hunts Point, The Bronx
Much more than massive wholesale markets, this south Bronx neighborhood possesses historic and cultural richness that Dondi Mckellar of Bronx Community Board 2 is working to celebrate and preserve. The 1912 Feldco Building was a center for generations of popular music styles from jazz to salsa to hip-hop, and the area is home to a burial ground for enslaved Africans, vibrant local businesses, architectural gems, and a rich musical and artistic heritage. The group is working to ensure that both long-time residents and newcomers are aware of the neighborhood’s cultural wealth, and that new development is respectful of the area’s architecture and scale.
This northwestern Bronx community is home to architectural gems from multiple eras and in various styles, from the imposing Kingsbridge Armory, to 19th century farmhouses to stunning 1930’s Art-Deco apartment buildings. The Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition has been working since 1974 with residents and small businesses in the Bronx to prevent displacement, foster equitable economic development, protect housing and maintain strong and stable communities. The NWBCCC is now seeking to identify historic resources in order to better protect and stabilize community character, and foster pride in the area’s architecture and history.
Bedford Park is an elegant and diverse residential community characterized by well-maintained pre-war apartment buildings and free-standing homes from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The adjoining Moshulu Parkway and the New York Botanical Garden give the neighborhood a bucolic character. Unfortunately, the neighborhood is facing significant development pressures, so the Bedford Moshulu Community Association has mobilized to safeguard the community’s history and character, and protect the neighborhood from out-of-scale development. The group intends to raise awareness of the area’s historic quality and to submit a proposal for historic district status from the LPC.
We at Welcome2TheBronx are incredibly excited and proud that three of the six neighborhoods chosen for 2019 in our beautiful borough of The Bronx.
Now, more than ever, The Bronx is facing rapid development and changes both from developers and top down forced upon us rezonings that are changing our landscape and in the process losing our history.
Development won’t stop but we must pay attention to the details that make our neighborhoods the places we love so deeply and make sure they aren’t gone forever.
Although some neighborhoods might look similar, when we look deeply into each block there are distinguishing characteristics that make each one unique.
Let’s stop erasing our history and preserve it for future generations to enjoy.
Welcome2TheBronx was the recipient of the 2015 Historic District Council’s Grassroots Preservation Award for Friend in the Media for our work in highlighting preservation issues across The Bronx.