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History

 Neighborhood History*

 

1850’s

In 1853 Otis Elevator Company was established in Yonkers, NY.

1890’s

Yonkers architect C.C. Chipman designed Public School 6, which was built in the 1890s.

School6 old photo

1940’s

In 1945 Sarah Lawrence College was selected to study the residents in  Cottage Place Neighborhood in Yonkers, NY   These questionnaires were furnished by the Federal Housing Authorities and investigated economic, social and physical conditions.   Similar to the 2013 Sarah Lawrence College researchers for this Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, students intended to determine quality of housing, occupations of residents, income status, recreational facilities and educational institutions.  The students’ study it was determined by the Municipal Housing Authority to select the site for a low-cost housing project known today as Cottage Place Gardens.  In 1946 construction began and the units were completed in 1948.  This development consists of 256 units of conventional Public Housing situated on 5.29 acres of land  for families and the elderly.  The design of Cottage Place Gardens included 14 buildings that range from 3 to 4 stories with full basements as well as two elevator buildings. Between 1940 and 1980 7,000 units of public housing are built in Yonkers, NY.

aerial view of CPG

1950’s

During the postwar years public housing tenants included police officers, postal workers and laborers in the factories that once flourished in southwest Yonkers 1.  The majority of these residents were White.

1980’s

By the 1980s, the demographics of Yonkers’ public housing developments had shifted. Whites no longer lived in the units and moved away, and African Americans and Latinos moved in.  During the 1980’s the federal court determined that the City of Yonkers intentionally segregated it’s schools and housing for 40 years. The United States vs. City of Yonkers litigation outcome challenged neighborhood and educational discrimination prompted the critical need to address the circumstances of the Croton Heights neighborhood.   Though the Municipal Housing Authority for the City of Yonkers (MHACY) was not a party to the suit, 97 percent of the City’s family public housing units at the time were located in the southwest quadrant of the city, with three of the four public housing sites located in the Croton Heights neighborhood.   It closed in 1986 after the City of Yonkers was found guilty of segregating its public schools by clustering low-income housing in one part of the city. Students from southwest Yonkers were then to be bussed to other schools throughout the city in a plan to rework the school system. School 6 was declared to be “located on a difficult site, is antiquated (in part) beyond cost-effective rehabilitation, and the need to acquire adjacent sites poses likely time and cost constraints.” Thus it was not be part of the new plan and it closed.

Otis Elevator Factory was closed in 1983 and is now a Kawasaki rail car assembly plant.

1990’s

The city and the MHACY recognized in the late 1990s the need to address the circumstances of the Croton Heights neighborhood, which was at the core of the 1980’s desegregation case.

 

2000’s

The City of Yonkers and MHACY collaborative efforts have begun to transform the eastern and central sections of Croton Heights by implementing a HOPE VI grant for Mulford Gardens, one of the other public housing developments in the neighborhood.  Awarded in 2005, the Hope VI program marked a new era for public housing. The program promoted physical improvements, management improvements, and social and community services to address resident needs.  In 2009 construction commenced with the vision to  rid the neighborhood of problems that existed in Mulford Gardens including drugs, gangs, and crime.  The solution was providing housing to people with mixed incomes through a new development,  called Croton Heights Apartments.

croton heights

2012

The City of Yonkers, MHACY, and The Community builders were awarded a Choice Neighborhoods planning grant. Choice Neighborhoods is an initiative of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to support comprehensive neighborhood revitalization by using the redevelopment of distressed public housing as a catalyst for neighborhood wide transformation. This Transformation Plan for the Croton Heights neighborhood will focus on Cottage Place Gardens and the surrounding area along the major east-west transportation corridor through the neighborhood.  Our planning team is committed to creating a public process that enables all stakeholders to participate in the creation of a shared vision. This project will create a strategic plan for better housing, improved education, adequate neighborhood retail, and reduced crime and vacancy.  The end result of this planning process will be a plan to improve the quality of life and safety for current residents.

 

2013

Construction commences on the former  Public School 6 (PS6) site.  The redevelopment of the PS6 site is a collaborative effort between The Community Builders, Inc. and the Municipal Housing Authority for the City of Yonkers (MHACY) to address the blighting influence of the abandoned school building.  The project, once completed, will continue the City’s and the MHACY’s joint investment in the Ashburton corridor and create a new mixed-income community for families and seniors in Yonkers, New York.

PS6 demolition 2

The Future

With a well-developed Transformation Plan reliant on strong resident and business participation and engagement, the vision is to offer everyone in the neighborhood a quality place to live, learn, play and work.

 

 

schoolhouse terrace

 

The Municipal Housing Authority and The Community Builders are continuing their partnership in the revitalization of Cottage Place Gardens and the Ravine Neighborhood, on a site located at the corner of Willow and Warburton Avenues in the City of Yonkers. This new project will provide 50 units of family housing on a 1-acre site at 188 Warburton Street. The site includes frontage on Warburton and Public Housing Authority land in the Cottage Gardens housing development.

188 Warburton Ave

 

*This page is under construction, for suggestions and/or to help enhance our content please email jbonds@consultimc.com.

 

1.Sara Rimer, “Yonkers Anguish:Black and White in 2 Worlds,” New York Times, December 22, 1987.http://www.nytimes.com/1987/12/22/nyregion/yonkers-anguish-black-and-white-in-2-worlds.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm