Historic Harlem rowhouse to be demolished

June 25, 2012 10:30AM

Despite an ongoing campaign by neighborhood residents and preservationists, a 1902 Harlem row house is facing imminent demolition, the Wall Street Journal reported. Reverend Adam Clayton Powell Sr., a historical figure in Harlem and father to Adam Clayton Powell Jr., who would one day become the first black congressman in America, ran a charity in the brick-and-limestone Building On West 140th Street.

The building is slated to be demolished for safety reasons, according to the Department of Buildings. State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office, which has authority over the building because it was last owned by a non-profit organization, has ordered it marketed and sold to the highest bidder.

There is some interest from those who would like to purchase and restore the property. Unfortunately, the transaction could take longer than the 30 days before the city’s demolition order must be fulfilled.

“We tried to work with the Landmarks Preservation Commission and the community which would like to save it, but there is not a feasible plan,” Ryan FitzGibbon, a spokesperson for the DOB, told the Journal. [WSJ]