Mott Haven, Bronx
Mott Haven is a primarily residential neighborhood in the Southwestern section of The Bronx in New York City. Zip codes include 10451, 10454, and 10455. The neighborhood is part of Bronx Community Board 1. Its boundaries, starting from the north and moving clockwise are: East 149th Street to the north, the Bruckner Expressway to the east, the Bronx Kill waterway to the south, and the Harlem River to the west. East 138th Street is the primary east-west thoroughfare through Mott Haven. The local subway is the IRT Pelham Line (6 <6> trains), operating along East 138th Street. The local buses are the Bx1, Bx2, Bx15, Bx17, Bx21, Bx32, Bx33. Mott Haven is served by the Triborough Bridge, the Third Avenue Bridge, the Madison Avenue Bridge and the Willis Avenue Bridge. The closest Metro-North Railroad stops are Yankees – East 153rd Street and Harlem – 125th Street.
Mott Haven is a high-density neighborhood with a population of roughly 50,000 within a square mile. The residents are mainly Latin Americans - predominantly Puerto Ricans - and African Americans. Like most neighborhoods in New York City, the vast majority of households are renter-occupied.
Land use and terrain
Mott Haven is dominated by tenement-style apartment buildings and large public housing complexes. There are three historical districts consisting of brownstone-style rowhouses. In the last two decades, construction of modern 2- and 3-unit rowhouses and apartment buildings has increased the percentage of owner-occupiers. The neighborhood contains one of the highest concentrations of NYCHA projects in the Bronx. The total land area is roughly one square mile. The terrain is low-lying and flat except around St. Mary's Park where it is somewhat hilly.
Historical districts and landmarks
Three Historic Districts are located in Mott Haven: Mott Haven, Mott Haven East and the Bertine Block:
- The Mott Haven Historic District is located on Alexander Avenue between East 138th Street and East 141st Street. The district contains the row of handsome brownstones known historically as Doctors Row and Irish Fifth Avenue as well as the police station, the 1905 neo-renaissance Mott Haven Branch of the New York Public Library and Saint Jerome's Roman Catholic Church.
- The Mott Haven East Historic District is located on East 139th and East 140th Street between Brook and Willis Avenues. The district contains rows of handsome brownstones designed by William O'Gorman and William Hornum in 1883 combining Dutch and Flemish architectural aspects on the north side of E.140th Street and neo-Grecian aspects on the south side of E.140th Street and on E.139th Street.
- The Bertine Block Historic District is located on East 136th Street between Brook and Willis Avenues. The district contains yellow-faced brick brownstones designed by Edward Bertine between 1891 and 1895.
- St. Ann's Episcopal Church
St. Ann's Episcopal Church is located on the west side of St.Ann's Avenue between East 139th and East 141st Streets. It is The Bronx' oldest church, having been built in 1841 and dedicated to Gouverneur Morris's mother Ann. Notable figures buried there include Lewis Morris, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, Gouverneur Morris, and former mayor of New York R. H. Morris.
Public housing projects
- There are seventeen NYCHA developments located in Mott Haven.
- Dr. Ramon E. Betances I; thirteen buildings, 3, 4, 11 and 19-stories tall.
- Dr. Ramon E. Betances II, 13; one 6-story building.
- Dr. Ramon E. Betances II, 18; two buildings, 4 and 6-stories tall.
- Dr. Ramon E. Betances II, 9A; one 4-story building.
- Dr. Ramon E. Betances III, 13; two rehabilitated tenement buildings, 5-stories tall.
- Dr. Ramon E. Betances III, 18; one rehabilitated and three abandoned tenement buildings 5-stories tall.
- Dr. Ramon E. Betances III, 9A; two rehabilitated tenement buildings 6-stories tall.
- Dr. Ramon E. Betances IV; eight buildings, 3, 4 and 5-stories tall with 282 apartments.
- Dr. Ramon E. Betances V; six rehabilitated tenement buildings, 5 and 6-stories tall
- Dr. Ramon E. Betances VI; three rehabilitated tenement buildings, 5 and 6-stories tall.
- Millbrook Houses; nine 16-story buildings.
- Millbrook Extension; one 16-story building.
- Mitchel Houses; ten buildings, 17, 19, and 20-stories tall.
- Moore Houses; four 20-story buildings.
- Mott Haven Houses; eight buildings, 20 and 22-stories tall.
- Patterson Houses; fifteen buildings 6 and 13-stories tall.
- Southern Boulevard M.H.O.P. (Multi Family Homeownership Program); one 7-story rehabilitated tenement building.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (August 2009)|
The area that is now called Mott Haven was originally owned by the Morris family. A small part of the larger swath of land known as Morrisania, it was purchased by Jordan Lawrence Mott for his iron works in 1849. A vestige of the iron works can be seen just west of the Third Ave. bridge on E. 134th St. St. Ann's Church (ECUSA) on St. Ann's Avenue is the resting place of Lewis Morris, Gouverneur Morris and other members of that powerful colonial family, and a Registered Historic Place.
As the city below grew, the area quickly developed residentially. At the same time, an upper-middle class residential area, marked by brownstones built in an elaborate and architecturally daring fashion, started to grow along Alexander Avenue by the 1890s. (Doctors Row a/k/a the Irish Fifth Ave.) A series of brownstones on E. 134th St, east of Willis Ave., was known as Judges' Row. Soon after, the Bronx grew more quickly, especially with public transit into the area, including the IRT Ninth Avenue Line. By the early 20th century, the population density of the area supported the construction of many tenement-style apartment buildings.
From the end of the 19th century through the 1940s, Mott Haven was a mixed German-American (north of E. 145th St.)and Irish-American neighborhood (south of E. 145th St), with an Italian enclave west of Lincoln Ave. The derogatory term "pig" for a policeman is thought to have originated here because of a tough Irish cop who wielded his night stick on Willis Ave. drunks without mercy, known as Paddy the Pig of the 40 Pct.
One of the largest parades in NYC took place here in the late 1940s and early 1950s. It was organized by Sean Oglaigh na hEirann, the veterans of the Irish Republican Army, who marched every Easter Sunday, down Willis Ave. from the Hub to E. 138th St., thence west to St. Jerome's. The Star of Munster Ballroom at the NE corner of Willis Ave. and E. 138th St., was a center of Irish music for decades. It was speculated at one time that there were more bars on Willis Avenue than on any other city street, given its short length. More recorded Irish musicians lived in Mott Haven than in any place outside of Ireland.
The first Puerto Rican settlements came in the late 1940s along the length of Brook Ave. African-Americans came into the area when Patterson Houses were built.
Mott Haven and Port Morris were the first neighborhoods to give rise to the term "South Bronx". Together, they were originally known as the North Side or North New York. This area was part of New York County after the incorporation of Greater NY in 1898. The Chase Manhattan Bank at Third Ave. and E. 137th St., was originally the North Side Board of Trade Bldg (1912). It later became the North Side Savings Bank, which became Dollar Dry Dock, which became Chase.
In the 1940s when the Bronx was usually divided into the East Bronx and West Bronx, a group of social workers identified a pocket of poverty on East 134th Street, east of Brown Place and called it the South Bronx. This pocket of poverty would spread in part due to an illegal practice known as blockbusting and to Robert Moses building several housing projects in the neighborhood. The poverty greatly expanded northward, following the post-war phenomenon colloquially referred to as white flight, reaching a peak in the 1960s when the socioeconomic North Bronx-South Bronx boundary reached Fordham Road. At this time a wave of arson destroyed or damaged many of the residential, commercial, and industrial structures in the area.
Today the North Bronx-South Bronx distinction remains more common than the traditional East Bronx-West Bronx distinction, and some still regard Fordham Road as the boundary. Though crime has declined versus the highs of the crack epidemic and revitalization of former abandoned properties is taking place, the neighborhood continues to deal with serious crime issues due to its significant population in poverty. There have been significant strides to increase gentrification of the neighborhood. Bruckner Boulevard, Alexander Avenue and Lincoln Avenue are a true testament to neighborhood change. Swanky more "hip" businesses have slowly made headway in giving the area a little bit of night life and making it arguably the "Williamsburg" of the Bronx. E. 138th Street has seen minor changes with apartment buildings under new renovations, new businesses have arrived. Mott Haven is home to a community-supported agriculture program hosted at Brook Park.
However, Mott Haven was home to the Bronx's first organic market and has seen significant improvements in terms of quality of life. The influx of artists and cafes has prompted a comparison of Mott Haven to Paris.
The area is patrolled by the 40th Precinct, located at 257 Alexander Avenue. NYCHA property in the area is patrolled by P.S.A. 7, at 737 Melrose Avenue located in the Melrose section of the Bronx.
- P.S. 18 John Peter Zenger School (East 148th St and Morris Av)
- P.S. 277 Dr. Evelina Lopez Antonetty (East 147th St and St. Ann's Av)
- P.S. 30 Wilton School (East 141st St and Brook Av)
- P.S. 40 Mott Haven Village (East 140th St and Brook Av)
- P.S. 43 Jonas Bronck School (East 136th St and Brown Place)
- P.S. 49 Willis Avenue School (East 139th St and Willis Av)
- P.S. 65 Mother Hale Academy (East 141st St and Cypress Av)
- I.S. 139 A. Burger Intermediate School (East 143rd St and Brook Av)
- I.S. 162 Lola Rodriguez de Tio (E 149th St and St. Ann's Av)
- M.S. 223: The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology (East 145th St and Willis Av)
- P.S. 154 Johnathan D. Hyatt School (East 135th St and Alexander Av)
- I.S. 183 Paul Robeson School (East 140th St and Morris Av)
- P.S. 754 School For Career Development/Foreign Language Academy Of Global Studies (East 147th St and Jackson Av)
- South Bronx Charter School for International Cultures and the Arts
- The Bronx Charter School for Children
- The Bronx Academy of Letters
- Bronx School For Law Government And Justice
- Health Opportunities High School
- Community School For Social Justice
- Samuel Gompers High School
- KIPP Academy Elementary School
- KIPP Academy Middle School
- Success Academy Bronx 1
- Euginio Maria De Hostos Community College (C.U.N.Y.) (Schools within Euginio Maria De Hostos Community College are Hostos Lincoln Academy.)
- Saint Luke School
- Saint Pius V School
- Saint Pius V High School
Mott Haven is home to Lincoln Hospital on 149 Street between Park and Morris Avenues. Lincoln Hospital was founded in 1839 and now has 342 beds.
- 138th Street – Grand Concourse (4 5 trains)
- Third Avenue – 138th Street (6 <6> trains)
- Brook Avenue (6 train)
- Cypress Avenue (6 train)
- East 143rd Street – St. Mary's Street (6 train)
- 149th Street – Grand Concourse (2 4 5 trains)
- Third Avenue – 149th Street (2 5 trains)
- Bx1: to Riverdale (via Grand Concourse)
- Bx2: to Kingsbridge Heights (via Grand Concourse)
- Bx4/Bx4A: to Westchester Square (via Westchester Avenue)
- Bx15: to Fordham Plaza or Manhattanville (via Third Avenue)
- Bx17: to Fordham Plaza (via Prospect and Crotona Avenues)
- Bx19: to Riverbank State Park or Bronx Park (via 149th Street and Southern Boulevard)
- Bx21: to Westchester Square – East Tremont Avenue (6 <6> trains) (via Boston Road and Morris Park Avenue)
- Bx32: to VA Hospital (via Morris Avenue and Jerome Avenue)
- Bx33: to Harlem or Port Morris, Bronx (via 138th Street)
- Bx41 (Including Select Bus Service): to Williamsbridge (via Melrose Avenue and Webster Avenue)
The 145th Street Bridge and Madison Avenue Bridge eastwards and the Willis Avenue Bridge northwards from Manhattan leads you to Mott Haven in The Bronx. These bridges are maintained by NYCDOT. The Triborough Bridge northwards also leads you to Mott Haven and is maintained by the MTA Bridges and Tunnels. The toll to cross the bridge is $7.50.
- Edward J. Flynn, Alexander Ave., chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 1940 to 1943.
- Bobby Darin lived at 629 E. 135 St. and attended P.S. 43.
- Danny Aiello lived on Bergen Ave. and attended Monroe H.S.
- Rapper A.G. of the duo Showbiz and A.G., was raised in the Patterson Houses.
- Rod Strickland, NBA player, was raised in the Mitchel Houses.
- Former boxer Iran Barkley was raised in the Patterson Houses.
- Former drug lord Guy Fisher is from the Patterson Houses.
- Nate Archibald, former NBA Player, was raised in the Patterson Houses.
- Rapper Percee P was raised in the Patterson Houses.
- ESG (band) are from the Moore Houses.
- French Montana, rapper.
- Kase 2, aerosol writer, is from the Moore Houses.
- José E. Serrano, Congressman representing the Bronx, was raised in the Millbrook Houses.
- Mott Haven Landmarked District
- Mott Haven East Landmarked District
- Bertine Block Landmarked District
- "To Have and Have Mott". Forgotten New York. Retrieved 2010-01-16.
- Laura Italiano (December 17, 2013). "Has Paris turned into The Bronx?". New York Post.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mott Haven, Bronx.|
- The Mott Haven Herald - produced by the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism
- Forgotten-NY Discussion on Mott Haven
- History of Morrisania
- Pictures of Mott Haven Historic Districts
- http://www.bronxmall.com/commboards/needscb1.html Historical and demographic information on Mott Haven from Community Board 1