Holmes Towers

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The John Haynes Holmes Towers is a public housing project for low income residents of the Yorkville section of the Upper East Side located just south of the neighborhood's northern limit at 96th Street, in New York City, New York, United States. The Isaacs Houses and the Holmes Towers border East Harlem, which has the highest concentration of public housing in the United States.The two public housing buildings, completed in 1969, are 25 stories tall and contain 537 apartments. Architects Eggers and Higgins designed the buildings. The project is located between 92nd and 93rd Streets public housing buildings in the Yorkville neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City. The project is located between 92nd and 93rd Streets, spanning from 1st Avenue to York Avenue / the FDR Drive.

The development was named for the founder of the Community Church of New York. John Haynes Holmes was known as a pacifist, social organizer, and social justice pioneer.

A 1973 New York Times [1] article detailing a murder in the projects noted that the Towers were at the time "tenanted largely by white, elderly residents." 60 percent of the apartments in Holmes Towers are set aside for tenants over the age of 62.

Since June 2006, a greenmarket has operated on 92nd Street and 1st Avenue in front of Holmes Towers. It was the first Greenmarket on a NYCHA property.

The Isaacs Houses projects are located just north of the Holmes Towers. Both developments are basically one complex totaling 5 buildings having the same Development Management Office managed by New York City Housing Authority. [2]

Both housing projects, as a whole, have been designated a "high crime zone" by the New York City Police Department's 19th precinct since the early 2000s, and are thus policed to a higher extent, especially due to the heavy socio-economic mixing of the immediate surrounding area, which includes public housing, working-class small tenement buildings, middle-class medium-size buildings, and upper-middle class to upper-class luxury buildings along 1st avenue in the area.

Further reading[edit]

The New York Times Reports: [3] In June 2002, a 62-year-old woman was stabbed to death in her Isaacs Houses apartment. No one was arrested. The following month, a man who lived in Isaacs Houses threw himself from a 19th-floor window. The man survived, but the incidents sparked fears among residents about the overall safety of the two complexes, the only public housing on the Upper East Side.

New York Post Reports: [4] In September 2007 Violence spilled dangerously out into the street as gang banger shoots rival with 357 caliber striking him in back and elbow.

University of Colorado Boulder Reports: The Story of young Brandon Heard living in the Isaac Houses & how he met former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg “It’s a hell of an experience raising a child here – you need to teach your kids street smarts to keep them out of trouble and to avoid peer pressure to join gangs and do drugs.” [5]

See also[edit]

Notable residents[edit]

J.R. Writer Rapper, Songwriter



Coordinates: 40°46′50.39″N 73°56′43.37″W / 40.7806639°N 73.9453806°W / 40.7806639; -73.9453806