Sights and Scenes: Harlem

A look at the largest African American community in the country: Harlem

Random Harlem

The Abyssinian Baptist Church was established in the early 1800s. It is one of the oldest African American Baptist churches in the nation and the first in the state of New York.

Also known as the St. Nicholas Historic District, Strivers’ Row is a section of West 138th and 139th Streets between Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Boulevard and Frederick Douglass Boulevard that was built between 1891 and 1893 by developer David H. King Jr. During the Harlem Renaissance, Striver’s Row was a desired destination for wealthy African Americans.

The term “brownstone” is used to describe a townhouse or rowhouse built with brown Triassic-Jurassic sandstone.

The Mount Calvary United Methodist Church at 116 Edgecombe Avenue was originally built in 1897.

The St. James Presbyterian Church at the intersection of West 141st Street and St. Nicholas Avenue.

The Hamilton Grange National Memorial is a National Park Service site that contains the relocated residence of U.S. Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. It is located in St. Nicholas Park.

Brownstones on West 137th Street.

Walking down Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard.

The Rennie Luxury Condominiums on Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard.

The Salem United Methodist Church and the Saint Nicholas or “Saint Nick” public housing project in Central Harlem. Consisting of thirteen 14-story buildings, the 1,523 apartment unit complex was completed in 1954 under the Taft-Ellender-Wagner Housing Act of 1949.

Article by Ennis Davis, AICP. Contact Ennis at