With its gleaming shopping centers and refurbished row houses, today’s Harlem bears little resemblance to the neighborhood of the midcentury urban crisis. In The Roots of Urban Renaissance: Gentrification and the Struggle over Harlem, first published in 2017 by Harvard University Press, Brian D. Goldstein traces Harlem’s Second Renaissance to a surprising source: the radical social movements of the 1960s that resisted city officials and fought to give Harlemites control of their own destiny. Inspired by the civil rights movement, young activists envisioned a Harlem built by and for its low-income, predominantly African American population. In the succeeding decades, however, the community-based organizations they founded came to pursue a very different goal: a neighborhood with national retailers and increasingly affluent residents.
125th Street in East Harlem has seen a constant stream of renovations and building over this past several years. We thought this might be a good time to review what we know about projects coming to East Harlem this year, and continue to update as the year unfolds.