Walks in New York and elsewhere

My comments on buildings, shops, restaurants that catch my eye as I wander around New York City and other places.

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Location: New York, New York, United States

Thursday, July 20, 2006

125th Street, 2

Just west of Park Avenue are the some visible signs of gentrification, like the scaffolding on "The New Corn Exchange Building" indicating that an extensive renovation is in progress that will incorporate the historic facade.
IMG_1952 (Small)
and a sign across the street announcing a new Marriott Hotel.
IMG_1954 (Small) On the day the photo was taken (June 10, 2006) however, there were only puddles behind the construction fence and an impromptu sidewalk flea market in front of it. IMG_1953 (Small)

On the corner of Madison Avenue is A Taste of Seafood, a takeout restaurant that must be good, if the length of the line at 4:30 in the afternoon is any indication. IMG_1958 (Small)

On the northwest corner of Madison Avenue is the Promise Academy, a charter school operated by Harlem Children's Zone, housed in a new building. IMG_1961 (Small) The school opened in 2004, with the goal of providing a full range of preventive, educational and recreational services to Harlem children and families.

Just to the south on Madison, are a West Indian Restaurant and a church (not to be confused with a synagogue, despite the name) housed in an old Pythian Hall, a reminder that this area was once the second-largest Jewish neighborhood in New York, the largest at the time being the Lower East Side. IMG_1962 (Small)

An interesting building now housing a church was originally a medical office, as evidenced by the iconography. IMG_1966 (Small)

There are nice rows of houses south of 125th. (North, too, but that's a different area.) IMG_1969 (Small) IMG_1970 (Small) We are very close to the edge of the Mount Morris Park Historic District, one of the very earliest districts to be designated by the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission and one that needs to be expanded. The LPC in the early days, was very cautious about the boundaries of historic districts because the consequences of designation were still unknown. Preservationists were glad to see that a study by NYC's Independent Budget Office shows that designation is good for property values of the buildings as they exist, assuming that zoning in the area does not allow for a taller building than is already on the site. In that instance, all too common in New York, since the zoning laws pre-dated the landmark laws by many years and do not always reflect what has already been built, a rapacious developer can attempt to do a great deal of damage, unless the LPC succeeds in reining him in, or, wins in court.

2 Comments:

Blogger Jeanne said...

Sandra, I'm enjoying your blog and hope to read through it today (Saturday). I've just joined (again) POL and found your link. I find New York fascinating, have only been upstate, and though it's lovely, I've always wanted to visit the city. I'm from Boston and miss city life. I now live in the midwest...ho, hum. Jeannemarie

1:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Found your blog at POL. I enjoyed the tour of the buildings. Thank you. And you much have invested lots of shoe-time taking all the photos, and brain-time researching it all. keewee

11:02 PM  

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