The Real Deal New York

MTA may close East Harlem facility atop historic burial site

January 19, 2014 11:00AM

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The MTA’s 126th Street bus depot (Credit: Angel Chevrestt)

WEEKENDEDITION The Metro Transit Authority will likely close an East Harlem facility, which sits atop a 17th-century African burial ground, after years of protest.

Sources told the New York Post that the MTA’s 126th Street facility could close permanently in June.

“It’s impractical to close down this depot. It’s going to disrupt service,” J.P. Patafio, an official with Transport Workers Union Local 100, said. “They should put up a monument.”

Three years ago the MTA confirmed the existence of the burial ground, which belonged to Harlem’s Elmendorf Reformed Church, and was used from 1665 until 1869 to bury slaves.

Since then, community activists have lobbied to relocate the 67-year-old depot to memorialize the historic site and perhaps establish a cultural center there. [NYP] Christopher Cameron

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