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Harlem Plays Catch-Up with 9 Proposed Historic Districts

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Harlem is significantly lacking in historic districts and landmarking in comparison to other neighborhoods in the city, so Community Board 10 released a report outlining a plan for historic preservation [pdf] and the establishment of 9 new or expanded historic districts within its borders. It's interesting reading, but if you want a quick breakdown, consult the map above and the descriptions of the proposed districts below.

1. West 147th-159th St.
Where: between Frederick Douglass Blvd. and Adam C. Powell Blvd.
Buildings: 60
Circa: 1905
What's so special?: "The tenement buildings in this area form a strongly cohesive group, with white limestone first stories and beige brick upper floors."

2. Edgecombe Avenue from 136th St. to 141st St.
Where: Edgecombe Ave. to Adam C. Powell Blvd., next to St. Nicholas Park
Buildings: 163
Circa: 1890s
What's so special?: "The study area includes an impressively diverse set of Queen Anne style row houses. Along Frederick Douglass Blvd. and St. Nicholas Blvd. are tenements and apartments built before the turn of the 20th Century. Most, like 2611 Frederick Douglass Blvd., built in 1896, still retain their original cornices and period detailing."

3. Striver’s Row Extension (North and South)
Where: between Adam C Powell and Malcolm X Boulevards
Buildings: Four rows of houses
Circa: 1891
What's so special?: "Although not built by the same [David King, the developer who built what is within the St. Nicholas Historic District], the block directly north and the two blocks south of the district were developed at the same time and are similarly
well maintained. The south side of 137th St. is a particularly fine example featuring matching Queen Anne style houses with Renaissance Revival detailing."

4. 130th to 133rd St.
Where: between Malcolm X and
Adam Clayton Powell Boulevards
Buildings: 190 row houses
Circa: turn of the 20th century
What's so special?: "One of the earliest row house neighborhoods in Upper Manhattan. This area was originally built for upper class white families, but was one of the first neighborhoods to become predominantly African-American."

5. Astor Row
Where: 129th-130th Streets between Malcolm X Blvd. and Fifth Avenue
Buildings: N/A
Circa: mid- to late-19th Century, early 20th century tenements
What's so special?: "The creation of an Astor Row Historic District would protect the feel of the block as a whole, and maintain the distinct context of the (already landmarked) Astor Row homes."

6. Manhattan Ave / 120th to 123rd Streets
Where: between Morningside Avenue and Broadway
Buildings: 109
Circa: 1886-1896.
What's so special?: "The study area consists of unbroken blocks of residences, each three-stories above a raised basement, that were built between 1886 and 1896. The homes represent a progression of styles that typify this period of residential development."

7. Mount Morris Park Historic District Expansion
Where: 116th-124th Streets between Adam C Powell Blvd. and Fifth Avenue
Buildings: N/A
Circa: late 19th and early 20th centuries
What's so special?: "There are more buildings that were constructed
between 1910 and 1940 in this expansion area than in the original district. When the district was originally designated, many of these buildings were only 30 years old, hardly worth noting as “historic.” Today, however, these buildings are 70 to 100 years old and represent an important stage in the history of Harlem and the Mount Morris Park neighborhood."

8. Morningside Ave /110 St. to 119th St.
Where: Morningside Avenue to Frederick Douglass Boulevard
Buildings: 192
Circa: late 19th Century
What's So Special?: "The buildings in this area represent a wide variety of architectural styles typifying the speculative wave of development that hit Harlem just before the turn of the 20th Century."

9. St. Nicholas Avenue
Where: between Frederick Douglass and Malcolm X Boulevards
Buildings: N/A
Circa: late 19th Century
What's So Special?: "Unlike many of Harlem’s avenues, this section of the two avenues features exclusively historic apartment buildings, the character of which should be preserved."

· Comprehensive Historic Preservation Plan (pdf) [CBM10]
· Historic Push Begins for Harlem Landmarking [Curbed]
· Preservation Watch [Curbed]