Frederick Douglass Houses

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Frederick Douglass Houses
F Douglass NYCHA Amst 102 jeh.JPG
Location in New York City
Coordinates: 40°47′51″N 73°57′53″W / 40.797570°N 73.964660°W / 40.797570; -73.964660Coordinates: 40°47′51″N 73°57′53″W / 40.797570°N 73.964660°W / 40.797570; -73.964660
CountryUnited States
StateNew York
CityNew York City
 • Total0.019 sq mi (0.05 km2)
 • Total2,672[1]
ZIP codes
Area code(s)212, 332, 646, and 917

The Frederick Douglass Houses are a public housing project located in the New York City borough of Manhattan, in the Manhattan Valley neighborhood of Upper West Side, named for civil rights pioneer Frederick Douglass. The actual buildings are located between 100th Street and 104th Street, to the east of Amsterdam Avenue and the west of Manhattan Avenue. The complex is owned and operated by the New York City Housing Authority.[3]


The development was approved by the New York City Planning Commission on February 7, 1952, as a low-rent housing project to be erected on a 22.5-acre (91,000 m2) site, a "superblock" bounded by Manhattan Avenue, Amsterdam Avenue and West 100th and 104th Streets.[4] The original portion of the complex consists of 17 buildings – 5, 9, 12, 17, 18, and 20 stories tall – completed on May 31, 1958 on a 21.76-acre (8.81 ha) site. The development includes 2,056 apartments housing some 4,588 residents. The Frederick Douglass Addition, completed on June 30, 1965, is a 16-story building with 306 residents on .55-acre (0.22 ha) on Amsterdam Avenue between West 102nd and West 103rd Streets.[3]

The Frederick Douglass Playground covers 1.945 acres (7,870 m2), on Amsterdam Avenue between 100th and 102nd Streets. Land for the playground was acquired by the city in 1954, and the playground was opened on September 10, 1958. The New York City Board of Estimate transferred the property from the New York City Housing Authority to the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation in August 1962, which still is responsible for management of the park.[5]

In 2012, the Frederick Douglass Houses farm was launched through a partnership between NYCHA and Project EATS on the former site of the tennis courts.[6]

The flagship of Hostelling International USA in the United States is on the Frederick Douglass Houses superblock, in a landmark building designed by noted architect Richard Morris Hunt in the 19th Century. This popular hostel occupies the entire east blockfront of Amsterdam Avenue between 103rd and 104th Streets.

Notable residents[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Frederick Douglass Houses Population".
  2. ^ "Frederick Douglass Houses Area". Retrieved November 7, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Douglass Houses Archived July 6, 2009, at the Wayback Machine, New York City Housing Authority. Accessed January 29, 2008.
  4. ^ "PLAN BOARD BACKS DOUGLASS HOUSES; Huge Manhattantown Project Opposed by Area Residents as Too Costly for Them", The New York Times, February 7, 1952. Accessed January 29, 2008.
  5. ^ Frederick Douglass Playground, New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. Accessed January 29, 2008.
  6. ^ "Project EATS Frederick Douglass Houses Farm — Project EATS". Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  7. ^ a b Martin, Douglas. "Monteria Ivey, 41, Humorist, Author and Radio Personality", The New York Times, December 26, 2001. Accessed January 29, 2008. "Monteria Henry Ivey was born in Manhattan on May 6, 1960, and spent his early years in Suffolk, Va., with his grandmother.... He and Mr. Dweck lived at the Frederick Douglass Houses, a city housing project on West 102nd Street in Manhattan."

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