For Immediate Release:June 23, 2020
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New York City's 150th historic district is a notable example of the early-20th century development of the South Bronx's Hunts Point neighborhood
New York – Today, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) voted to designate the Manida Street Historic District in Hunts Point, Bronx. Designed by architects James F. Meehan and Daube & Kreymborg, and built in 1908-09, the Manida Street Historic District is a notable example of the early-20th century development of the South Bronx's Hunts Point neighborhood.
"I am so pleased that New York City's 150th Historic District is the Manida Street Historic District" said Landmarks Preservation Commission Chair Sarah Carroll. "As Chair I have committed to ensuring that the Commission prioritize designations in areas of the city less represented by landmarks, like the South Bronx. This gem of a district is not only a reminder of the early-20th century residential development of the South Bronx, but also reflects this community's long-term commitment to their neighborhood."
Located between Lafayette Avenue and Garrison Avenue in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx, the Manida Street Historic District consists of 42 semi-detached row houses executed in a modest Renaissance Revival style, some combined with elements of the Flemish Revival style. The block is an impressive example of the early-20th century development that occurred in the neighborhood in response to transportation improvements and rapid industrialization.
Two development companies, both operated by architect and builder James F. Meehan, built the 42 houses by the spring of 1909. Meehan served as architect for the houses on the west side and hired the architectural firm of Daube & Kreymborg to design the houses on the east side. The semi-detached houses share a uniform style and form with rounded projecting bays and mirror-image facades.
The mid-20th century brought drastic economic and infrastructure changes that had devastating impacts on the South Bronx. Today, however, Manida Street appears much as it did more than a century ago, with a strong sense of place and historic character distinct from its more industrial and commercial surroundings.
"The 800 block section of Manida Street dates back more than 100 years to the early 1900s, when the Hunts Point neighborhood was experiencing tremendous development and population growth," stated Council Member Rafael Salamanca, 17th Council District, The Bronx. "More than a century later, Manida Street has maintained a strong neighborhood context and connection to the historical nature of when the area was first developed. In a city that is ever-changing, Mandia Street serves as a link to the rich history of the South Bronx. Working with community advocates who have vigorously pushed for this designation for over a decade, I am proud to support the Manida Street Historic District, which would hold the distinction of being New York City's 150th historic district."
"The homeowners and residents of Manida Street are thrilled to be recognized as NYC's 150th Historic District by the Landmarks Preservation Commission," said Maria Torres, a resident of the block. "We thank the LPC and their staff for their attentiveness to our request and concerns. We also thank Councilman Salamanca and his staff for their responsiveness. We are truly proud of our block and the history behind our homes."
"The Historic Districts Council is very pleased that the Landmarks Preservation Commission is looking into underserved areas of the city such as the South Bronx to create new historic districts," said Simeon Bankoff, Executive Director of the Historic Districts Council. "Manida Street is a handsome block with an interesting history and strong community support. It's fitting that is should be designated as New York City's 150th! historic district."
Hope Burgess, President & CEO said "Banana Kelly Community Improvement Association, Inc. enthusiastically supports the designation of the Manida Street Historic District. Manida Street is a remarkable example of early 20th Century South Bronx architecture with a strong sense of place and historic character. The Manida Street Historic District will ensure the area and its buildings will remain a testament to the efforts of past generations and preserve this important South Bronx neighborhood."
The Landmarks Preservation Commission is the mayoral agency responsible for protecting and preserving New York City's architecturally, historically and culturally significant buildings and sites. Since its creation in 1965, LPC has granted landmark status to more than 37,000 buildings and sites, including 1,439 individual landmarks, 120 interior landmarks, 11 scenic landmarks, and 150 historic districts and extensions in all five boroughs. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/landmarks and connect with us via www.facebook.com/NYCLandmarks and www.twitter.com/nyclandmarks.