Monday, January 20, 2014

MTA to vacate Manhattan slave graveyard

From the NY Post:

The MTA will likely shut down its East Harlem bus depot because it sits atop a 17th-century African burial ground, two transit sources told The Post.

The 126th Street facility — home to the M15 fleet that traverses Second Avenue, the city’s busiest bus route — could close permanently as early as June, one of the sources revealed.

The Post first reported three years ago that the agency had confirmed the existence of the burial ground, used by Harlem’s first house of worship, the Elmendorf Reformed Church, from 1665 until 1869 to bury slaves and freed slaves.

Community activists began lobbying to relocate the 67-year-old depot, a former trolley yard, to memorialize the cherished ground and even establish a cultural center around it. At the time, the MTA maintained it would continue to study the issue but planned to go ahead with the refurbishment of the depot in 2015.

Now the agency appears ready to wash its hands of the 104,000-square-foot building, sources said.

It's a shame that slave graveyard in Elmhurst isn't owned by the MTA.


Anonymous said...

Yes, what has the borough historian said about the Elmhurst location.

Also a lot of organizations in Flushing talking a lot about the Underground Railroad (good funding for that stuff ya know) - inquiring minds want to know how they are proceeding on the Elmhurst cemetery, too.

Anonymous said...

Borough Historian? That's a joke if you expect anything from that direction.

I guess the problem in Queens is that we are all expected to conform to a hierarchy of favored groups - not favored for the quality of programs, but favored for their ability to project the image of the politician that is inevitably in the center of each picture - immigrants, seniors, and especially kids, are simply window dressing for a pol's resume.

Can you imagine Lincoln Center in Queens?

Helen Marshall center stage rambling interminable nonsense while Zuben Mahta cools his heels in the wings - and the travesty covered breathlessly by the Queens weeklies.

georgetheatheist said...

Helen Marshall will be featured prominently in the Great Women of Queens Monument.

Anonymous said...

It's a shame that slave graveyard in Elmhurst isn't owned by the MTA.

If it was a white middle-class graveyard, it would have a high-rise planted on it.