Some residents consider Morningside Heights to be part of the Upper West Side.
However, many sources call it part of "Greater Harlem". Many sources
have the Upper West Side going no farther north than 110th street.
Morningside Heights is bounded by Saint Nicholas Avenue to the east, Harlem to the north, and Riverside Park to the west. The streets that form its boundaries are 110th Street on the south, Riverside Drive on the west, 125th Street on the north, and Morningside Drive to the east. The main thoroughfare is Broadway. With the recent gentrification of Bloomingdale,
the neighborhood immediately to the south of Morningside Heights, the
southern boundary of this region is sometimes stretched to 106th Street
and at times even 96th Street.
The neighborhood has also been referred to as a "college town" within New York City, the "Academic Acropolis", the "Acropolis of New York", and "Bloomingdale Village".
In the 17th century, the land that is now Morningside Heights was known as Vandewater's Heights, named for the landowner.
On September 16, 1776, the Battle of Harlem Heights
was fought in Morningside Heights, with the most intense fighting
occurring in a sloping wheat field that is now the location of Barnard College. A plaque by the Columbia University gate on 117th Street and Broadway commemorates this battle.
Use of the name "Morningside Heights" for the neighborhood arose in
the 1890s when development of the area commenced. Although the name
"Bloomingdale" was used for the area about the Bloomingdale Insane Asylum (located at the present location of the main campus of Columbia University),
other names such as "Morningside Hill" and "Riverside Heights" were
used for the area and no single name was commonly used for the
neighborhood as projects began to construct the university campus, and
also the nearby Teachers College, the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine and St. Luke's Hospital.
In time two names gained the most use; "Morningside Heights" was
preferred by the two colleges while "Cathedral Heights" was preferred by
St. John's and St. Luke's. After about 1898, Morningside Heights became
the most generally accepted, although the diocese at St. John's
continued to call the neighborhood Cathedral Heights well into the 20th
century. The term "Morningside" came from the park on the east flank of
the plateau, which was lit up by the rising sun and which was called
"Morning Side Park" in 1870 when the city parks commissioner recommended
a survey of the land.
apartment buildings and rowhouses, amongst the first to use elevators
in residential buildings, were built for New York's prosperous middle
class in the first two decades of the twentieth century and most of
these buildings are still extant. By the mid-20th century the increasing prevalence of Single Room Occupancy (S.R.O.) hotels led to attendant socioeconomic problems and a decline in the neighborhood. Jane JacobsThe Death and Life of Great American Cities presented the neighborhood as a key example of the failure of the urban planning techniques of the era.
In 1947 David Rockefeller
became involved in a major middle-income housing development when he
was elected as chairman of Morningside Heights Inc. by fourteen major
institutions that were based in the area, including Columbia University.
In 1951 the organization developed Morningside Gardens, a six-building apartment complex to house middle-income families from all ethnic backgrounds.
The social problems in the area prompted Columbia to purchase much of
the neighborhood's real estate, leading to accusations of forced
eviction and gentrification. This process reached its nadir in 1968, when protests erupted in both the neighborhood and on Columbia's campus over the university's proposal to build a gym in Morningside Park.
Residents alleged that the park's proposed separate entrance for Harlem
residents on the lower level of the park was segregated, and that
public park space was being annexed by a wealthy private institution.
The university was eventually forced to abandon the plan, though it has
still expanded its presence in the neighborhood markedly over the last
few decades, and gentrification and urban renewal have proceeded apace.
In January 2008 the university received approval from the City Council
to expand significantly in nearby Manhattanville.
As the city grows and residents move in and out, neighborhood names
change as well. Newcomers may consider Morningside Heights as an
extension of the Upper West Side, though others hold onto the old name. In the last decade, some businesses in the area have started using the name SoHa
(or "South of Harlem") to refer to the neighborhood. Examples of this
include Max's SoHa restaurant and the former SoHa nightclub.
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We also provide a complete array of chimney maintenance , chimney cleaning, and fireplace cleaning services in Brooklyn and Manhattan, our professional chimney sweeps, and chimney service technicians can help you to prevent creosote build-up, chimney fires, chimney violations, fire code violations and increase and help to ensure your family’s safety from carbon monoxide poisoning. (all homes are required to have CO detectors and smoke alarms installed)
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