In the past, brownstone homes along Mt Morris Park West between 120th and 121st Street affectionately known as “The Ruins,” were abandoned buildings that stood neglected for years. These derelict brownstones — seized in the 1960’s by the state for an urban renewal project, which never happened — were once the centerpiece of the neighborhood’s landmark district. However, thanks to the collective efforts of the MMPCIA, Patricia Pates Eaton, Harold Dolly, Olive and Julius Adams, Helen Murray, Hilda Stokely, and many others, the Ruins have been revitalized, serving as a beautiful reminder of our commitment to preserving our heritage.

The Ruins were left vacant and unmaintained for many years,  Despite efforts to restore and preserve them, they faced the threat of demolition due to an emergency order issued by the Department of Buildings. This issue sparked community activism and intervention to save these historic structures from destruction.  The buildings have been restored to their former glory, and serve as a major architectural pillar in the community.

Read the full New York Times article to learn more about the history of the Ruins and the transformation that has occurred.

As we remember this milestone, we’re reminded of the importance of our ongoing efforts to protect and revitalize our community. Today, we face new challenges, such as those on 119th Street, and on Malcolm X Blvd. where neglected buildings have been demolished.

These buildings, once important landmarks, now are gone and we’re at work building strategies to prevent these actions by unchecked developers from happening again.

With your help, we can make a difference in preserving our neighborhood’s heritage together.  Stay tuned for our Landmark Community Meeting coming in June.   “Save our Buildings and Culture”