Overlooking Marcus Garvey Park, at 15 West 124th Street, stands an 18,000+ square-foot, brick building that had been the home to the Franciscan Handmaids of the Most Pure Heart of Mary ~ the nation’s oldest order of black nuns. In 2016, the Order celebrated its 100th Anniversary and year of service with a Gala featuring His Eminence Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan (Archbishop of New York), with performances by Melba Moore and other celebrity guests, held at the New York Academy of Medicine.
In June of 2017, the Franciscan Handmaids announced that they would be selling their Harlem Motherhouse, in an effort to restructure. In an article by Global sisters Report, it was said that only three Sisters currently live in the West 124th Street building, leaving most of the building empty.
While much of this area is within a Landmarked District, the north side of Marcus Garvey Park is not. When purchased, the structure could be expanded to 30,000 square-feet.
According to Property Shark, 15 West 124th Street sold on February 11, 2019 for $9,400,000 to Harlem LLC ~ and when searching for who/what that entity might be, our Google Search referred us to The Real Deal, who referred us to a lengthy article on ‘the Rise of the Anonymous LLC’. In the article, Senator Brad Holyman states that “New York requires more information for someone applying for a library card than to set up an LLC.”
However, The Real Deal was able to say that the ‘buying entity’ is tied to Michael Dwyer. A team led by CBRE’s Daniel Kaplan brokered the sale. Also included in the deal was 21 West 124th Street next door, which houses the group’s nursery school.
Permits were filed in December, 2020 to demolish the current four-story building, making way for a new seven-story building containing 33 apartments. With a new height of 75-feet tall, it will be seventeen-feet taller than the four-story building that currently exists, per Patch Harlem. No timeline for this construction. However, scaffolding is set across the entire front of the building, July 2021.