Skip to main content

Posts

Featured

Hot Spots: Columbus Park. From a Lenape village, to the African Burial Ground. From Paradise Park, to Murderer's Alley and The Tombs. From Mulberry Lane, to Chinatown and a 40-story jail.

Contemporary relevance: As part of a plan to build 4 new jails at a cost of $8.7 billion to taxpayers, Mayor DeBlasio is on the verge of tearing down Chinatown’s existing Metropolitan Detention Complex (MDC) only to erect a 40-storey jail. MDC is the site of New York City's first-ever jail complex, known originally as The Tombs. It is no accident that The Tombs was constructed directly adjacent to what was known, at the time of construction, as Five Points, a historically black neighborhood that came to be heavily stigmatized as a black and Irish mixed community. As a result of race riots during the Civil War, a major portion of Manhattan's African American population fled from the area surrounding Columbus Park, finding refuge in Weeksville and other free black communities.
Columbus did not find his way to India or China any more than he discovered America, which makes it all the more ironic that when Italian immigrants named this park after him, they had not a clue…

Latest Posts

Hot Spots: The Museum of the American Indian. From the tip of the Mohican Trail to Fort Amsterdam. From Bowling Green to a toppled King George. From the Customs House to Bankruptcy Court.

Where Do We Begin?