LANDMARK HARLEM'S HISTORIC LENOX TERRACE APARTMENTS!!
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LENOX TERRACE is an iconic community that should be Landmarked.
It was conceived and initiated by Dr. Godfrey Nurse, a successful African American Physician. He envisaged this development and secured the 15 acres comprising the neighborhood. It was designed as a Le Corbusier styled "Tower in the Park" development that was well integrated with the surrounding communities. Under the proposed redevelopment plan, this well thought out and designed neighborhood will be strangled by an impermeable phalanx of commercial structures and dwarfed by five residential towers, comprising 1642 new apartments. IT IS A BRIDGE TOO FAR!!
The development encompasses 66 w. 133rd Street, where, in 1905, Philip Payton and his company, The Afro-American Realty Company, almost single-handedly facilitated the migration of blacks from the south and the Caribbean. It also encompasses 55 west 135th where Marcus Garvey began exhorting Blacks in this country to rise up!
The litany of movers and shakers comprising this storied neighborhood is a virtual who's who of Black America who have shaped and molded the "larger society" in critical ways. A partial listing of some of its more stellar residents (in no particular order) includes Mom's Mabley, Nipsey Russel, Mahalia Jackson, Ruth Brown, Anna Hedgeman,Cal Ramsey, Bro Jack McDuff, Livingston Wingate, Cecil Layne,Percy Sutton, Ella Baker, Basil Paterson, Charles Rangel, Charles Mingus, Leon Thomas, Bruce Wright, Wayne Shorter, as well as ne'er do wells Bumpy Johnson and "Mr.Untouchable"Nicky Barnes.
The well-designed, historic community of LENOX TERRACE and its surroundings will be absolutely defiled by the proposed redevelopment. While sensible, well-considered expansion is both necessary and inevitable, the proposed expansion is outsized and will subsume and obliterate a thriving historical community.It will obliterate the "paths of promise" that were so vital to the surrounding areas. Greed has clearly taken precedence over common sense in the most recent iteration of the plan, which totally runs roughshod over an established iconic architecturally significant and historic community.
The current form factor of Lenox Terrace should be preserved and not defiled. We therefore respectfully submit that all parties involved in NYC planning should strongly consider landmarking "The Terrace"!
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