1 For information on the history of Mott Haven, see North Side Board of Trade, The Great North Side; or, Borough of the Bronx, New York (New York: Knickerbocker Press, 1897); Stephen Jenkins, The Story of the Bronx, 1639- 1912 (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1912), pp. 366-371; Harry T. Cook, Borough of the Bronx, 1639-1913 (New York: Harry T. Cook, 1913), pp. 20-21; James L. Wells, Louis F. Haffen, and Josiah A. Briggs, Eds., The Bronx and Its People: A History, 1609-1927 (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1927), pp. 330-331; Lloyd Ultan, “The Story of the South Bronx, 1776-1940,” in Devastation/Resurrection: The South Bronx (Bronx, N.Y.: Bronx Museum of the Arts, c.1979), pp. 14-36; LPC, Mott Haven Historic District Designation Report (LP-0451) (New York: City of New York, 1969); LPC, Bertine Block Historic District Designation Report (LP-1900) (New York: City of New York, 1994), prepared by Andrew S. Dolkart; and LPC, Mott Haven East Historic District Designation Report (LP-1899) (New York: City of New York, 1994), prepared by Katherine E. Kahn.
2 The Borough of the Bronx came into being in 1898, with New York City’s consolidation. It was part of New York County until 1914, when Bronx County was created. See Gary D. Hermalyn and Lloyd Ultan, “Bronx,” in The Encyclopedia of New York City (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1995), pp. 142-146.
The Story of the Bronx, p. 366.
4 The canal would remain navigable until it was filled in in 1965, according to John McNamara, “The Bronx in History,” Bronx Press Review, March 1, 1984. In this report, “Mott Haven” refers to the area below 149th Street and west of the neighborhood of Port Morris, as defined by several contemporary maps, including the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Bronx Bus Map (November 2005; accessed online at http://www.mta.info/nyct/maps/ busbx.pdf), and Hagstrom’s New York City Five Borough Atlas (Maspeth, N.Y.: Hagstrom Map Company, 1989). While historian Evelyn Gonzalez considers Mott Haven today to encompass the entire area below 149th Street, in 1879, Mott Haven referred to the area west of Third Avenue; the area east of Third, at that time, was called North New York. Although “North New York” has since faded from use, Port Morris, the historical name for the eastern- most portion of this area, remains current in referring to the area east of the Bruckner Expressway. See Evelyn Gonzalez, “Mott Haven”; Lloyd Ultan, “North New York”; and Gary D. Hermalyn, “Port Morris,” in The Encyclo- pedia of New York City, pp. 776, 854, and 926; G.W. Bromley & Company, Atlas of the Entire City of New York (New York: G.W. Bromley & E. Robinson, 1879); Elisha Robinson, Atlas of the City of New York (New York: E. Robinson, 1885); and E. Robinson, Map of the 23rd and 24th Wards, New York (New York: E. Robinson, 1890). The 1890 Robinson map is reprinted in Evelyn Gonzalez, “From Suburb to City: the Development of the Bronx, 1890- 1940,” in Building a Borough: Architecture and Planning in the Bronx, 1890-1940 (Bronx, N.Y.: Bronx Museum of the Arts, 1986), p. 9. Incidentally, the name “South Bronx” was also applied to this area as early as c.1910. Nearly 100 years ago, Bronx Borough President Louis F. Haffen wrote of “the territory south of 149th Street and east of Third Avenue—the section known as South Bronx” in Borough of the Bronx: A Record of Unparalleled Progress and Development (New York, 1909?), p. 59; a 1910 New York Times article referred to “the South Bronx below 149th Street and between the Harlem and East Rivers” (“Bronx Subway Protest,” July 10, 1910, p. 3). This use of “South Bronx” should not be confused with the more recent use of the term, which the Encyclopedia of New York City calls “an imprecise term used after 1950 to designate an area of shifting boundaries in the southwestern Bronx …. The widespread use of the name has done much to obscure the diversity of the neighborhoods of the South Bronx, which many residents do not regard as being a neighborhood itself” (p. 1098).
5 In 1869, Cornelius Vanderbilt consolidated the New York & Harlem and New York & Hudson River Railroads to form the New York Central & Hudson River Railroad, according to the Encyclopedia of New York City, p. 983. In 1885, the railroad built an impressive Romanesque Revival station in Mott Haven, since demolished, that was de- signed by R.H. Robertson; see “The New Up-Town Railroad Depot,” Real Estate Record & Builders’ Guide, October 31, 1885, p. 1189.
1879 Bromley Atlas of the Entire City of New York.
See Gary D. Hermalyn, “Annexed District” and “North Side,” Encyclopedia of New York City, pp. 39 and 854.