Press Releases

Press Release #19-052
Saturday, August 14, 2019
Contact: Scott Gastel/Alana Morales (212) 839-4850
Brotherhood/Sister Sol: Seth Adam,

NYC DOT Joins the Brotherhood/Sister Sol to Announce Completion of Johnny Hartman Plaza

NYC DOT and The Brotherhood/Sister Sol held a ribbon cutting to celebrate the opening of Johnny Hartman Plaza in the Hamilton Heights section of Manhattan

NYC Department of Transportation Manhattan Borough Commissioner Ed Pincar today joined The Brotherhood/Sister Sol (Bro/Sis), Congressman Adriano Espaillat, Community Board 9, and family of jazz musician Johnny Hartman to announce the completion of Johnny Hartman Plaza in the Hamilton Heights section of Manhattan.

“Not only will Johnny Hartman plaza be a welcoming space for pedestrians, it also brings important safety benefits to this historic Harlem neighborhood,” said DOT Manhattan Borough Commissioner Ed Pincar. “We thank our partners, Brotherhood/Sister Sol for helping to activate this plaza, making is as vibrant and soulful as its namesake.”

“As The Brotherhood/Sister Sol marks 25 years of transformative youth development and education programming in Harlem, we are honored to join NYC DOT to celebrate the opening of Johnny Hartman Plaza, a new home to our Bro/Sis Youth Market and community art and educational programming,” said Bro/Sis Executive Director Khary Lazarre-White.

Located on Hamilton Place between Amsterdam Avenue and W 143rd Street, the new plaza brings over 5,000 square feet of open space to this community, featuring movable furniture, umbrellas and seasonal plantings. The completed plaza also comes with enhanced safety benefits – including painted sidewalk extensions to shorten crossing distances and signal timing modifications creating safer turns. Local programming and maintenance for the plaza, will be provided by The Brotherhood/Sister Sol, Harlem’s nationally acclaimed social justice, youth development, and education organization.

With the support of area elected officials, The Brotherhood/Sister Sol applied to the Plaza Program in June of 2017. DOT then worked with the organization on a robust outreach effort that included eight One-Day Plaza events on the proposed site as well as several public workshops and informational meetings. In May, Community Board 9 voted in favor of the proposal.

Johnny Hartman Plaza is the 79th Plaza in DOT’s Plaza Program. The Plaza Program works with selected organizations to create neighborhood plazas throughout the City to transform underused streets into vibrant, social public spaces. It is a key part of the City's effort to ensure that all New Yorkers live within a 10-minute walk of quality open space. More information on the Plaza Program can be found here.

“Thank you NYC Department of Transportation and the Brotherhood/Sister Sol for making today’s announcement possible. Completion of the Johnny Hartman Plaza is a critical investment in our community and will have a tremendous benefit on the quality of life of Hamilton Place area residents, youth, families and visitors for years to come,” said Congressman Adriano Espaillat.

“Today I want to congratulate New York City Department of Transportation and The Brotherhood/Sister Sol on the grand opening of the Johnny Hartman Plaza, said Assembly Member Al Taylor. “For more than two decades, the Brotherhood/Sister Sol has been a transformative agent in the lives of youth in our community and this new space will allow for the program to expand upon their services. Additionally, the plaza will be an open and safe area for all of the community to enjoy.”

“I am tremendously excited that the City Council was able to provide important funding to support the partnership between The Brotherhood/Sister Sol and NYC DOT to bring the Johnny Hartman Plaza to the Harlem community,” said City Council Member Mark Levine. “The new plaza is going to be an important asset to this community and will not only provide a safe and usable open space for the neighborhood but will also be the home to a brand new facility that will enrich the lives of so many of our city’s teenagers.”

“On behalf of Community Board 9, we hope that the new Johnny Hartman Plaza is a success,” said Community Board 9 Transportation Chair Carolyn Thompson.

About The Brotherhood/Sister Sol: Since 1995, The Brotherhood/Sister Sol (Bro/Sis) has transformed the lives of young people in New York City and across the country through wrap-around educational programming and support services for youth ages eight to 22. Services include an intensive 4-6 year Rites of Passage program, five-day-a-week after-school care, counseling, summer camps, job training, college preparation, employment guidance, and international study programs in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Bro/Sis provides comprehensive direct services, trains educators on the organization’s model, and organizes to affect policy and social change. As one of the most successful youth development organizations in the country, Bro/Sis is a social justice organization that is committed to working to respond to inequality, to train young people to become empowered as social change agents; work to expand a vision of equity, racial, and economic justice; and achieve opportunity and access for all.