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Central Harlem North Historic District, Edenwald Houses Nominated to the State and National Registers of Historic Places
A new historic district in Harlem, an industrial manufacturing complex in Poughkeepsie as well as the largest public housing complex in the Bronx are all candidates for recognition.
ALBANY—The New York State Board for Historic Preservation has nominated 36 properties to the State and National Registers of Historic Places and one property to the State Register of Historic Places. The nominations include a new historic district in Harlem, an industrial manufacturing complex in Poughkeepsie as well as the largest public housing complex in the Bronx.
“These nominations reflect generations of community building, planning, and activities that give us a glimpse into our collective past as New Yorkers,” Gov. Hochul said in an announcement released on Dec. 29. “Identifying these resources and adding them to our historic registers expands our ongoing understanding of our shared history and are important reminders of the innovation, passion, and lived experiences of New Yorkers who came before us.”
The State and National Registers are the official lists of buildings, structures, districts, landscapes, objects, and sites significant in the history, architecture, archaeology, and culture of New York State and the nation. There are more than 120,000 historic properties throughout the state listed on the National Register of Historic Places, either individually or as components of historic districts. Property owners, municipalities, and organizations from communities throughout the state sponsored the nominations. Once recommendations are approved by the Commissioner, who serves as the State Historic Preservation Officer, the properties are listed on the New York State Register of Historic Places and then nominated to the National Register of Historic Places, where they are reviewed by the National Park Service and, once approved, entered on the National Register.
The following are the nominated properties located in the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors’ market are:
Main Mall Row Historic District (Boundary Expansion and Additional Documentation), Poughkeepsie Multiple Resource Area, Dutchess County—The Main Mall Row Historic District was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1982 as part of the Poughkeepsie Multiple Resource Area, a very early multiple property nomination that was based on a survey of the city of Poughkeepsie. This nomination is intended to add one building, 317 Main Street, to the Main Mall Row Historic District. The row is a striking grouping of stylish commercial buildings that stand within the central business district and illustrate the important role that merchants played in the city’s economic history. The building at 317 Main is similar in period, scale, massing, materials, design, and function to the other buildings in the district and contributes to the architectural and historical significance of the listed district. In addition to adding information for 317 Main Street, this submission also includes an updated building list and new photos for the entire district.
Standard Gage Company Plant, Dutchess County—This large, multi-section former industrial manufacturing complex is located in Poughkeepsie. Tenants included the internationally recognized Standard Gage Company, which made precision blocks and gauges and occupied the site for almost 80 years. The property consists of interconnected building sections, extensions, and additions, with the earliest construction dating to 1905. Its architecture represents best practices of industrial manufacturing building design and technology at the time for dealing with fire resistance, structural strength, vibration, natural light, and ventilation. The plant had a broad-reaching impact on the industrial growth and development of Poughkeepsie as the headquarters of several early twentieth-century industrial enterprises and served as an economic base for generations of residents.
William H. and Mary M. Romeyn House, Ulster County—The 1853 William H. and Mary Romeyn House is an excellent example of an intact mid-nineteenth-century Gothic Revival cottage that is strongly associated with the Picturesque Movement which swept much of the nation in the decades before and after the Civil War. This architectural movement marks a departure from earlier Neoclassical styles. Originally built by noted local architect Edward Brink, the cottage was expanded in 1870, 1889, and 1911 to better suit the needs of its inhabitants. These changes included the addition of rooms that were used by the Romeyn family to entertain guests and additional exterior architectural ornamentation, such as distinctive Neo-Grec style window surrounds. The front wraparound porch and an additional side door were also added in 1911 to enable Dr. E.E. Little, a well-regarded physician who owned the home, to admit patients easily into his home office. This cottage is an excellent example of mid-19th-century domestic architecture and is the only surviving example in Kingston with such intricate features.
New York City
Building at 287 Broadway, New York County—Located in one of the earliest parts of New York City, this 1872 six-story transitional Italianate/French Second Empire style cast-iron commercial building was designed by prolific architect John B. Snook and includes work by major cast-iron manufacturer Jackson, Burnet, & Co. Situated on a corner lot on Lower Broadway, the Broadway façade is three bays wide and the Reade Street façade is twelve bays wide. The building’s imposing and rare two cast-iron facades, slate mansard roof with iron cresting above a modillioned cornice, and intact ornate decorative details such as keystone-arched windows make it architecturally significant. It is also significant as the first cast-iron office building. The building illustrates lower Broadway’s transformation from a residential boulevard into the city’s commercial center spine in the nineteenth century and expresses the historical feeling of the post-Civil War era in New York City.
Central Harlem North Historic District, New York County—The Central Harlem North Historic District is an urban residential district approximately 10 city blocks in size in Manhattan’s Central Harlem neighborhood, featuring late 19th and early 20th-century brick and stone row houses, tenement houses, and apartment houses, as well as churches, playgrounds, retail and restaurants, library, and a school. The period of significance dates from ca. 1893, the date of the earliest known construction within the district, to 1952. The district illustrates the historic development patterns of Harlem as a Black working-class residential neighborhood, which was heavily tied to the growth of New York City’s public transportation systems and the real estate efforts of Philip Payton Jr.’s Afro-American Realty Company. In addition, the district comprises an excellent, intact grouping of late 19th-century single-family row houses and new law tenements. The district also includes the house of one of the Harlem Renaissance’s and early 20th century’s most important civil rights leaders: writer, lawyer, and diplomat James Weldon Johnson. Johnson was National Executive Secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and was co-author of what has become the Black National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”
Edenwald Houses, Bronx County—The Edenwald Houses, a mid-century public housing complex in the Bronx, represents a unique period of housing development in New York’s history. Following World War II, there was an unprecedented need for housing throughout New York City, especially for veterans and working families. The Edenwald Houses project was developed by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) in 1953 as part of a city-wide attempt to solve this housing shortage. This marked a pronounced shift in government involvement in the community planning process, although it did not fully address the ongoing issue of housing inequity. The Edenwald campus includes 40 residential structures designed to house families of all sizes within an airy and open green space. These brick-clad buildings include three- and 14-story units which have been in continuous use as residences since their construction and embody the simplified, functional design favored by the NYCHA during this period. These housing units were intended to preserve open spaces, providing light and air for residences as well as open green spaces for recreation. This design is unique to the Edenwald Houses, as they were one of the only NYCHA projects built on already vacant property. Edenwald is also home to a Community Center that was designed to serve as a social hub for those who lived in these apartments. The Community Center provided and continues to provide, programming for children and seniors, classes, meeting spaces, and recreation opportunities.
On June 27, 2023, NYCHA closed on the financing of the latest Permanent Affordability Commitment Together (PACT) project that will fund comprehensive repairs for nearly 5,000 residents living across 2,035 apartments at Edenwald Houses. The infusion of $783 million in capital funding will enable the PACT partner team to begin the work of fully rehabilitating the Bronx’s largest public housing development, which was built in 1953, making it also one of New York City’s oldest; the PACT partner team is composed of Camber Property Group (which successfully co-led the transformation of another PACT project at NYCHA’s Baychester Houses, located across the street from Edenwald); Stuart Alexander and Associates, Inc., a minority-owned business enterprise; Henge Development, a minority- and woman-owned business enterprise; and L&M Builders Group. Edenwald’s scope of rehabilitation will address the 20-year capital needs of the property while prioritizing resident preferences and investments toward healthy and efficient buildings within a resilient campus. Social services will be expanded through partnerships with Catholic Charities and R.A.I.N.
Manhattanville Houses, New York County—The Manhattanville Houses, located in the Manhattanville neighborhood of New York City, were built as a public housing project by the New York City Housing Authority between 1958 and 1961. These buildings and the superblock on which they are located are representative of mid-century public housing projects, which included the demolition of multiple blocks of earlier tenement-style housing and the reconfiguration of roads and walkways. Unlike other New York City Housing Authority housing projects, the Manhattanville Houses was intended as housing for middle-income families and did not rely on federal funding support. Built in a true modernist design, these six red brick-clad buildings are shaped like a Y and are 20 stories tall. Each building is centered around a communal balcony space clad in blue brick, with colorful metal panels to add visual interest. These spaces were designed as spaces in which residents could engage in outside activities, and to let fresh and light into the housing units. An important part of the housing project’s design was its landscape, which community development specialists believed would create an attractive and functional greenspace for residents to use. The site is also home to an active Community Center and Children’s Center which serves residents of the Manhattanville Houses.