Marcy Houses

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Park & Marcy Avenues on a rainy day

Marcy Houses, or Marcy Projects, is a public housing complex built and operated by the New York City Housing Authority and located in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn in New York City, at 40°41′49″N 73°57′04″W / 40.697°N 73.951°W / 40.697; -73.951Coordinates: 40°41′49″N 73°57′04″W / 40.697°N 73.951°W / 40.697; -73.951.[1][2][3] The complex was named after William L. Marcy (1786-1857), a lawyer, soldier, and statesman.[4] Consisting of 27 six-story buildings on 28.49 acres (0.1153 km2; 0.04452 sq mi), it contains 1,705 apartments housing about 4,286 residents (average of 2.5 people to an apartment).[1] Marcy was completed on January 19, 1949, and is bordered by Flushing, Marcy, Nostrand and Myrtle Avenues.[1]

Homes and businesses (including two banks) were cleared for the construction of Marcy Houses, as well as sections of Hopkins, Ellery, Floyd (now Martin Luther King Jr. Place), and Stockton streets that went through where the complex now sits.[4][4] Marcy has taken steps to become more environmentally friendly; in 2006, it replaced all conventional water heaters with energy-saving, instantaneous hot water heaters.[2] On January 19, 2009, Marcy Houses turned 60 years old. Mayor Michael Bloomberg proclaimed this day as Marcy Houses Day.[2]

The land Marcy Houses is on was bought in 1945 by the City of New York; it had been the site of an old Dutch windmill.[2][4] 3.2 acres (0.013 km2; 0.0050 sq mi) of the 28.49 acres (0.1153 km2; 0.04452 sq mi) were set aside for a playground in 1946 by the NYCHA; this playground was reconstructed in 1989.[1][4] In October 2008, Marcy's neighborhood garden earned third place at the 43rd Annual Garden and Greening Awards Ceremony, and its evergreen garden earned second place.[2]

It is famous as the childhood home of rapper Jay-Z,[5] as well as Memphis Bleek whom the former signed to his label Roc-a-fella Records.[6] Jay-Z often described the housing project as a dangerous place to live, with high crime rates and prevalence of crack cocaine. On Chappelle's Show, the fictional character Ashy Larry is from Marcy Projects.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "NYCHA Housing Developments - Marcy Houses". nyc.gov. City of New York. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Happy 60th Marcy and Jacob Riis House". Retrieved 2009-10-24. 
  3. ^ "Marcy Houses Populated Place Profile". Retrieved 2009-10-25. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Marcy Playground: New York City Department of Parks & Recreation". nyc.gov. New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. Retrieved 2009-01-02. 
  5. ^ Pareles, Jon (2008-03-29). "Hip Hop Assurance, R&B Suffering". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2009-01-02. 
  6. ^ "Memphis Bleek biography". musicianguide.com. Retrieved 2009-01-02. 

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