Assemblyman Dinowitz pushes for Historic District in Van Cortlandt Village
Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz (D-Bronx) wrote to the president of the New York City Housing Development Corporation today in support of recognition of a Historic District in the Van Cortlandt Village area.
The proposed area would include both sides of all streets starting at the most southern part of Fort Independence Street at Sedgwick Avenue going north and westward for the entire Fort Independence Street to Orloff Avenue, then northward along Orloff Avenue to Van Cortlandt Avenue West, then eastward to along Van Cortlandt Avenue West to Sedgwick Avenue, and southward along Sedgwick Avenue to Fort Independence Street, including all of both sides of Giles Place. This area includes the largest Revolutionary War Era fort in the Bronx – the Fort Independence – as well as Olmsted’s curvilinear street design of 1877, and the Shalom Aleichem Houses which sit atop the hill at Cannon Place.
Assemblyman Dinowitz has expressed strong reservations about the Housing Development Corporation’s support of construction of a large building on the empty lot located between Cannon Place and Fort Independence Street. He is also concerned about the structural integrity of the retaining wall at Cannon Place. The site, wedged between these two narrow Olmsted streets, is across the street from one of the buildings in Shalom Aleichem Houses which has been identified as eligible for the National Register of Historic Places (a formal application to the National Register is pending), and within one block of the Jerome Park Reservoir, which is already listed on the National Register.
“This section of Van Cortlandt Village should have been designated a historic district long ago. The uniqueness of this area and its place in history clearly qualify it for such designation. In addition, we must do everything possible to protect this neighborhood from runaway development and over-building. I commend the Fort Independence Park Neighborhood Association for fighting to protect this beautiful community,” said Assemblyman Dinowitz.