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Block of historic Bronx homes may become city’s newest landmark district

Some of the historic homes on Manida Street in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx. (Photo courtesy of the Landmarks Preservation Commission)

The Landmarks Preservation Commission has its sights set on landmarking more than three dozen historic Bronx homes that withstood decades of change.

On Tuesday, the LPC officially “calendared” plans for the Manida Street Historic District, which would cover roughly 42 brick rowhouses constructed in 1908-09 along Manida Street between Garrison and Lafayette Avenues in Hunts Point.

“Calendaring” is the first step in the designation process, according to the commission. It paves the way for a public hearing on the plan at some point in the future, followed by a public meeting during which the LPC will vote on the plan.

According to the LPC, the semi-detached, Renaissance Revival homes — which feature rounded projected bay windows, mirror-image façades and various ornamentation — were built at a time when Hunts Point transitioned from a rural area into a suburban communities.

Over the next 110 years, the neighborhood experienced and withstood several major transitions — namely an evolution into a predominantly industrial community. It also survive the urban decay that plagued the South Bronx during the 1970s. 

“Today, however, Manida Street appears much as it did more than a century ago, with a strong sense of place and historic character distinct from its more industrial and commercial surroundings,” according to an LPC report. “It remains a remarkable example of the early 20th century construction boom that occurred in the South Bronx as a result of expanded transportation routes and industry in the area.”

In most landmarking districts, LPC regulations preserve the character of building exteriors. Homeowners would generally be required to submit applications for permits to conduct exterior alterations; such projects are required not to deviate from the original look.

A map of the proposed Manida Street Historic District. (courtesy LPC)

Robert Pozarycki