Port Morris, Bronx

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Port Morris
Neighborhood of The Bronx
The Clock Tower, former factory now serving residential and commercial tenants
The Clock Tower, former factory now serving residential and commercial tenants
Port Morris is located in New York City
Port Morris
Port Morris
Location in New York City
Coordinates: 40°48′05″N 73°54′35″W / 40.8015°N 73.9096°W / 40.8015; -73.9096Coordinates: 40°48′05″N 73°54′35″W / 40.8015°N 73.9096°W / 40.8015; -73.9096
Country  United States
State  New York
City New York City
Borough Bronx
 • Total 1.92 km2 (0.742 sq mi)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 3,523
 • Density 1,800/km2 (4,700/sq mi)
 • Median income $35,192
 • Hispanic and Latino Americans 72.3%
 • African-American 24.7%
 • White 1.7%
 • Asian 0.4%
 • Others 1%
ZIP codes 10454
Area code 718, 347, 646

Port Morris is a mixed use, primarily industrial neighborhood geographically located in the southwest Bronx, New York City.[3] The neighborhood is part of Bronx Community Board 1.[4] Its boundaries are the Major Deegan Expressway and Bruckner Expressway to the north, East 149th Street to the east, the East River to the southeast, the Bronx Kill south, and the Harlem River to the west. Its ZIP code is 10454. The neighborhood is served by the NYPD's 40th Precinct.[5]

Oak Point, the southern tip of the South Bronx is in Port Morris. The area is also traversed by the Bruckner Expressway, a major freeway. Most of the neighborhood is within walking distance from the Cypress Avenue station of the IRT Pelham Line (6 trains).


Union Standard Equipment at 141st Street

Port Morris has a population of around 3,523. The neighborhood predominately consists of Latin Americans (primarily Puerto Rican), African Americans as well as a small white population concentrated mainly in the western portion of Bruckner Boulevard. Almost half of the population lives below the federal poverty line and receives public assistance (TANF, Home Relief, Supplemental Security Income, and Medicaid). The median income is significantly higher than that of other South Bronx neighborhoods. This is likely due to recent rezoning[3] to increase commercial and residential activity in the area.[6][1]



Bruckner Bar & Grill at Bruckner Blvd and Third Avenue

There is some evidence that a British paymaster ship went down off Port Morris's coast during the American Revolutionary War with millions of dollars in gold aboard. No recovery was ever made.[7][8]

The name comes from a deep water port established along the neighborhood's East River (Long Island Sound) waterfront by Gouverneur Morris Jr., son of Gouverneur Morris, in 1842. He built a two mile (3 km) railroad from Melrose to his family's holdings on the waterfront, later called the Spuyten Duyvil and Port Morris Railroad, abandoned a hundred years later.[9] The area is dominated by factory and warehouse buildings constructed in the mid-to-late 19th century, convenient to the railroad yards, of which the Oak Point Yard is the main survivor. Notable early businesses were the R. Hoe Co., as well as Cutler & Hammer Tool Works, and Mothers Friend Shirt Waist factory (1888) at Willow Ave. between E. 135th & E. 136th Sts.[10] While many of the early industrial buildings remain, they are little used for manufacturing anymore. The area was the site of the Hell Gate generating plant of Consolidated Edison, where George Metesky, the Mad Bomber who plagued New York City for decades was injured.[11]

The most notable architectural/engineering feature of Port Morris is the northern approach to the Hell Gate Bridge supported by concrete arches (1917) northward from East 132nd Street, between Willow & Walnut Avenues. Plans are afoot to extend the South Bronx Greenway to Randalls Island, crossing Bronx Kill via the Randall's Island Connector under Hell Gate Bridge. The Connector opened on 14 November 2015.[12][13][14]

A wave of arson during the 1970s destroyed or damaged many residential, commercial, and industrial structures in the area. Late in the century industry began to return to Port Morris. Many abandoned residential buildings are also being rehabilitated and designated low income housing.[15]

The history of Port Morris, as with other neighborhoods, is sometimes confused by the lack of fixed official boundaries. Late in the 20th century the name was sometimes applied to the area to the west, into Mott Haven. Mott Haven by older definition lies to the west rather than north of Port Morris.


133rd Street gate of New York Post printing plant

The neighborhood has been experiencing massive revitalization with many historic warehouses, factories and various manufacturing buildings being converted into lofts. The former Estey Piano Corp factory, now The Clock Tower, has the restaurant Charlies Bar & Kitchen operating on the ground level.[16] Port Morris has become a burgeoning community of artists and other young professionals looking for more reasonable options outside of Manhattan.[17] Efforts by the New York Restoration Project are underway to revive the waterfront in an area that historically suffers from high asthma rates. This will create much-needed green space for the community.[18][19] As a result of these changes, the neighborhood is slowly becoming well-known as a hub for upscale eateries in the South Bronx.[20]

Silvercup Studios is planning on converting a 115,000-square-foot warehouse located on 295 Locust Avenue for film and television productions. The facility is scheduled to open in June 2016.[21]


  • South Bronx Charter School for International Cultures and the Arts (East 133rd Street and Cypress Pl)
  • Per Scholas operates its main branch at 804 E 138th Street.[22]


The Mott Haven Herald is a news outlet that reports in Mott Haven, Melrose and Port Morris. It is produced by students at the City University Graduate School of Journalism and edited by Joe Hirsch.


Bruckner Boulevard, which runs under the Bruckner Expressway, is the primary thoroughfare through Port Morris.


  1. ^ a b c "Port Morris neighborhood in New York". Retrieved August 12, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Center for Urban Research". Retrieved 18 September 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Port Morris Rezoning". Retrieved 12 August 2015. 
  4. ^ "Bronx Community District 1" (PDF). Retrieved 18 September 2015. 
  5. ^ 40th Precinct, NYPD.
  6. ^ "Mott Haven, the Bronx, in Transition". Retrieved 12 August 2015. 
  7. ^ "Port Morris in Forgotten NY". Retrieved 8 September 2015. 
  8. ^ "Ship of Dreams". Retrieved 8 September 2015. 
  9. ^ Port Morris Branch, the so-called Bronx Swamp December 23rd, 2009, The LTV Squad
  10. ^ "Historic Districts Council — Port Morris History" (PDF). p. 2. Retrieved 22 October 2015. 
  11. ^ "Printers Row Preview 'Curiosity's Cats' editor recounts Mad Bomber research". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 17 November 2015. 
  12. ^ Small, Eddie. "Bronxites Can Get Free Rides to the Randall's Island Connector This Spring". DNAinfo. Retrieved 17 November 2015. 
  13. ^ South Bronx Greenway
  14. ^ Miller, Stephen. "Eyes on the Street: Randall’s Island Connector to Open in “Coming Weeks”". Retrieved 22 October 2015. 
  15. ^ "Port Morris & The 134th Street Ferry Bridges, The Bronx". Retrieved 31 October 2015. 
  16. ^ "Charlies Bar & Kitchen Is a Pioneering Dining Option in a Poor Bronx Neighborhood". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 September 2015. 
  17. ^ "The South Bronx Beckons". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 September 2015. 
  18. ^ "The Haven Project". Retrieved 18 September 2015. 
  19. ^ "Green Space and Health Linked in Vision for South Bronx". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 21 September 2015. 
  20. ^ Wall, Patrick. "New Upscale Bars and Eateries Make Their Way to Port Morris". DNAinfo. Retrieved 31 October 2015. 
  21. ^ "Silvercup Studios Is Turning a Bronx Warehouse Into Its 3rd Production Complex". Retrieved 12 August 2015. 
  22. ^ "Per Scholas Official Website". Retrieved 24 November 2015. 

External links[edit]