HDC is thrilled to announce 2019’s class of Six to Celebrate neighborhoods: Bedford Park, the Bronx; Chinatown/Little Italy, Manhattan; Dorrance Brooks Square, Manhattan; Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan; Hunts Point; the Bronx and Kingsbridge; the Bronx. Six to Celebrate is New York’s only citywide list of preservation priorities and has been helping to shape preservation activities in New York City since 2011. It has helped create eight New York City Historic Districts and 36 Individual Landmarks, four districts on the National Register, and three National Register properties. It has also leveraged over $115,000 in private and public grants for these community-driven projects.
Read on for profiles of each of the 2019 neighborhoods, or visit www.6tocelebrate.org to learn more about all the neighborhoods, order neighborhood guidebooks, and more.
We also hope you will join us on February 13th at our Six to Celebrate party to toast to the successes of honorees past and present! Register here.
Bedford Park, the Bronx
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.
Chinatown and Little Italy, Manhattan
Two adjoining and overlapping iconic communities that represent the country’s immigrant history in the national consciousness, Chinatown and Little Italy are seeing the loss of legacy businesses and insensitive alterations to historic storefronts and tenement facades. The Two Bridges Neighborhood Council is working to raise public awareness of the area’s history and architecture, to promote the neighborhoods as historic resources, to educate property owners on appropriate and sensitive building renovations and to gain protections for area landmarks such as the Lefkowitz building, recently proposed as the site of a new jail facility.
Dorrance Brooks Square, Manhattan
A residential enclave, this neighborhood east of St. Nicholas Park features remarkably intact and finely detailed residential rowhouse architecture built for upper-middle-class professional in the late 19th century. The community is named for the adjoining park dedicated in 1925 that honors African-American infantryman Dorrance Brooks, who displayed ”signal bravery” in World War I. The square became a rallying point for civil rights protests. Closely associated with the Harlem Renaissance, the area was home to jazz musician Lionel Hampton. The Dorrance Brooks Property Owners and Residents Association is seeking official recognition of and protection for its historic character and buildings.
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.
Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan
The built environment of Hell’s Kitchen reflects many important aspects of immigrant life at the turn of the century, incorporating the housing, institutions, and industrial buildings that provided the livelihoods of newly-arrived New Yorkers for generations. Manhattan Community Board 4 and the office of Council Speaker Corey Johnson have made it a priority to gain landmark protections for portions of the neighborhood in order to preserve its near-pristine historic streetscapes of rowhouses, tenement buildings, religious structures, and commercial architecture.
Kingsbridge, the Bronx
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.
The Six to Celebrate is generously supported by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Additional support is provided by New York City Council Members Margaret Chin, Robert Holden, Corey Johnson, Ben Kallos, Stephen Levin, and Keith Powers.