Institutional & Historical Resources
A 197-A Plan for Manhattan Community district 11 (Revised 1999)
While there is an abundance of community facilities some are underutilized
or under funded and some are not situated in the neighborhoods which need
them most. Consequently, a large amount of East Harlem residents do not
have immediate access to health care services.
Some people in the community believe it is saturated with facilities. However, there is no data at this time to confirm the community's concern. The City has "Fair Share" criteria for siting facilities but the City has not performed a study to determine the extent of the fair share distribution of facilities in East Harlem These facilities are significant employers of community residents, and many of them service the needy of Harlem.
East Harlem's elementary schools have been on an upward trend posting
greater proportions of students reading at or above grade level each year.
The challenge of assimilating newcomers to the City with non English backgrounds
continues to be a significant challenge. Although some schools we underutilized
excess classroom space has been used for intermediate school annexes and
various community programs.
The intermediate school program, "choice", keeps class sizes small while
offering schools and programs specifically tailored to the needs of the
students. The available programs include music and performing arts, health
and science, communications and a program for gifted students.
Since this innovative school program is open to students from other school districts (newly half of the student population comes from other districts) many East Harlem residents have not been able to take advantage of this successful program. Many East Harlem parents and guardians are upset because their children have been placed on a waiting fist for a school that is located their district.
are six high schools in East Harlem: Park East High School, an alternative
There are no comprehensive academic high schools within the community
district, therefore, the average high school student must leave the district
to attend school. Of the six high schools, there is not a strong emphasis
on curriculums that prepare students to be employed in New York's economy,
in particular, the health care industry.
There are two excellent public libraries within the district: the Aguilar Branch on 110th Street arid the 125th Street Branch. However, budget cuts have steadily affected the hours for libraries and the number of after school and evening education programs.
The district has several playgrounds that are adjacent to public schools,
housing projects and neighborhood institutions. The playgrounds attract
many young children. However, most of the play mesa are under used due
to absence of a full time playground attendant or recreational attendant.
Randall's and Ward's Islands have an abundance of outdoor recreational
space including several baseball fields, but due to limited access to
the island, many East Harlem residents do not use this resource. The southern
portion of the island, with its nicely designed passive and active spaces,
is surrounded by unattended shrubbery and debris.
East Harlem has many indoor recreational programs sponsored by schools and community centers, but since many programs lack funding, many programs are under used and have limited outreach to the community, while others are over capacity. As of 1990, the district had a large proportion of children (32 percent of the total population is under 18 years of age), it is important to ensure that these spaces are clean and safe environments. The community believes that a state-of-the-art youth center, like a Boys and Girls Club, is needed in the Upper Park Avenue Area which is above 116th Street. As of 1990, there were 5,241 young people under 18 years within the U.S. Census tracts (182, 184, 196 and 198) surround the Upper Park Avenue Area.
and Religious Facilities
According to a survey by undertaken by the Non-Profit Coordinating Committee of New York, there are approximately 122 religious facilities in Fast Harlem. Some have accessory school programs similar to the traditional Roman Catholic institutions. There is also an abundance of storefront Pentecostal churches. These religious institutions serve as neighborhood anchors, some offering youth and senior programs.
East Harlem has several other health-related facilities including five school clinics, two children's health clinics, two maternity and family planning facilities and three primary care facilities. In addition, there are 16 mental health disability programs and 16 substance abuse programs.
East Harlem is ranked first (out of 59 districts in New York City) in large residential care facilities with 25.3 beds per 1,000 persons. It is also ranked fourth in small residential cue.
Community Facilities and Issues
There are many youth service agencies that exist within various facilities, including schools. These programs, however, are, severely under funded. There is a great need for after school and evening programs.
There are 16 senior citizen centers which offer approximately 750 meals a day.
There are also 20 community-based organizations, funded by the New York City Community Development Agency, which provide social programs. In addition, there are several multi use facilities, such as Union Settlement and Boys Harbor, which provide a variety of social and educational services,
There are two sanitation garages that are located in East Harlem: 99th Street and First Avenue and 132nd Street and the Harlem River Drive. The 99th Street garage serves East Harlem and the 132nd Street garage serves Community District 10. The 99th Street garage, is inappropriately located on Health and Hospital Corporations property,
In general, there are many City-funded community facilities in East Harlem for the homeless, mental health and other social services. Some elements of the community believe it is over saturated with facilities. Without a citywide study to determine the fair distribution of facilities, it is difficult to prove or the City to deny that Community District is saturated, or whether the facilities located in East Harlem are meeting specific needs of the community.
The methadone clinics (125th and Park Avenue and 102nd and Madison Avenue) are a concern to the community Residents witness street sales of methadone. The clinics serve a large number of clients, some of whom reside outside of East Harlem, These clinics, with streets sales and loitering, imply a public safety problem.
and Notable Buildings
There are other buildings in East Harlem that deserve landmark protection. Among them are the churches with distinct and beautiful architectural features which are located within the East Harlem Triangle area, and the mews of Sylvan Court between Lexington and Third Avenues near 120th Street. Unfortunately, like many already land marked structures in East Harlem, the mews has deteriorated significantly.
2. The City must expand sites and programs for after school and evening educational, athletic and social program for East Harlem youth.
Sections of the 197-A Plan
Maps (all pertain
to Community Board # 11)
Board District # 11 (162K)