Landmarks Calendars Historic District in Hunts Point, Bronx

Streetscape of Manida Street./Image Credit: LPC

The houses within the proposed historic district have a consistent architectural style and retain most historical details from the early 20th century. On January 21, 2020, the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to calendar a proposed historic district in Hunts Point, Bronx. The Manida Street Historic District would be located on Manida Street between Garrison and Lafayette Avenues and would consist of 42 semi-detached, two-story brick houses on both sides of the street. The district would include 819 to 861 Manida Street on the west side of the street and 814 to 870 Manida Street on the east side of the street. The houses, built between 1908 to 1909, have a Renaissance Revival style and reflect a period in the early-20th Century when rapid development occurred in the South Bronx.

The Manida Street Historic District proposal resulted from ten years of local advocacy. Maria Torres, a resident of Manida Street, told CityLand that the residents were concerned about developers buying and redeveloping the houses on the block. Torres and other residents sought historic district designation as a way to preserve their block and protect their homes. They created a petition which was signed by more than 50 percent of the block. The petition was sent to Landmarks and local Council Member Rafael Salamanca Jr. Residents also sent letters to Landmarks voicing their support for designation. This led to Council Member Salamanca’s support for designation and he helped the residents set up a meeting with Landmarks. The meeting resulted in Landmarks’ evaluation of the block and its consideration for historic district designation.

Boundaries of the proposed Manida Street Historic District./Image Credit: PLUTOMaps and LPC

Council Member Rafael Salamanca Jr. told CityLand that Hunts Point was starting to become a new neighborhood for development and he stated that designating Manida Street as a historic district would be the best way to protect homeowners from displacement and to preserve the character of the neighborhood.

The Manida Street Historic District represents a period of rapid development in Hunts Point during the early-20th century. The development was a result of the West Side Interborough Rapid Transit subway into the Bronx in 1904. The subway expansion and Hunts Point’s proximity to the waterfront and railroads turned Hunts Point from a rural area to an industrial hub. The houses located within the proposed historic district remains intact, despite the economic and infrastructure changes that devastatingly impacted the South Bronx in the mid-20th century.

The houses have a consistent style which makes the block stand out from its commercial and industrial surroundings in Hunts Point. Generally, the houses are characterized by mirror image facades, rounded projecting bays, low stone stoops, simple cornices with steeply pitched roofs above, and ornamentation around the door and windows.

The east side of the block was developed by the Manida Company and designed by Daub and Kreymborg. The houses on the east side of the block are more consistent than the west side. They have restrained brick facades, bode window bays, belt course ornamenting the fenestration, and projecting door hoods supported by scroll brackets atop entrances. The west side of the block was developed and designed by architect James F. Meehan. The houses on the west side of the block are more ornamented and have more variety than the houses on the east side. The houses feature Flemish revival style parapets that project above bays, lintels and door surrounds feature classical motifs, and some of the windows have original stained glass transoms. Alterations have been made to some of the houses; however, the majority of the houses maintain their characteristics from the early-20th century.

Landmarks will hold a public hearing on the designation at a later date.


By: May Vutrapongvatana (May is the CityLaw Fellow and New York Law School Graduate, Class of 2019)

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