Historic District Council names Port Morris Gantries and Van Cortlandt Village for preservation
Powerful advocacy group recognizes two Bronx sites
BY DANIEL BEEKMAN / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Published: Friday, January 13 2012
Two remarkable but unheralded Bronx sites could be remembered, restored and reborn thanks to recognition from a powerful advocacy group.
The Historic District Council this week recognized the Port Morris Gantries and Van Cortlandt Village as New York neighborhoods in need of preservation.
“Neighborhoods throughout New York are fighting an unseen struggle to determine their own futures,” said Simeon Bankoff, HDC executive director.
In Van Cortlandt Village, the Fort Independence Park Neighborhood Association has been fighting a handful of land grabs and new housing projects.
The community sits atop the ruins of a Revolutionary War fort and was designed by legendary landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead. It boasts small Tudor revival homes and during the 1920s became a mecca for socialist factory workers fleeing the tenements of the lower East Side to build cooperative housing.
Now that former co-ops such as the Shalom Aleichem Houses have fallen on hard times and the character of the neighborhood is threatened by overdevelopment, HDC will help FIPNA get it listed on the national historic register, said Kristin Hart, president of the community group.
“We want people who live here to know about and celebrate the great history of the neighborhood,” she said.