Museum of Civil Rights in Harlem

(from Urbanize: https://urbanize.city/nyc/post/revealed-one45-museum-civil-rights-harlem-designed-shop-architects)

One45 and Shop Architects are proposing a nearly one-million square foot mixed-use development proposed for West Harlem on a portion of a block bounded by West 144th and 145th Street, Lenox Avenue, and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard.

A draft scope of work submitted to the city reveals two new towers that would rise about 360 feet apiece and contain space for office, retail, residential (866-939 units, of which 217-282 would be made affordable), and a banquet hall/event area for community use. 

Most notably, the development will also include a brand new 48,000-square-foot space for the Museum of Civil Rights (MCR), an institution founded by Reverend Al Sharpton, in collaboration with Judge Jonathan Lippman, focused on educating individuals on the contemporary struggles for civil rights, political rights, and social justice in the northern United States. Sharpton’s National Action Network (NAN) will also establish its headquarters in one of the buildings.

The developer, simply listed as “One45 Lenox, LLC” on city documents, is seeking to rezone a nearly full-block parcel to make way for the outsized development, which otherwise would allow for only 325,000 square feet to be built as of right.

Museum Program (top) | The Harlem Forum (bottom) | SHoP Architects

As the building’s anchor, MCR will boast several incredible spaces, notable for both their design and thought line. 

This includes The Harlem Forum, a flexible programming space that will boast sweeping views of the city from its perch above the tallest tower; The Harlem Lab for Social Change, a state-of-the-art laboratory for media production and the creative arts connected to social justice; The Rooftop Teaching Garden, which has been conceived as a teaching space that will serve as a site for harvesting fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as a platform for community organizations to educate visitors about local foodways and contemporary food systems; and a community-curated gallery to showcase local talent.

MCR’s website describes the interior design as being “inspired by Harlem’s architecture, particularly its brownstone stoops,” filled with spaces where visitors can “gather, connect, and recharge.” 

The proposal puts forward a plan to construct the two buildings in one phase, an estimated 38-month process that would finish in 2026 if all the necessary approvals are obtained.

Demolition permits have already been filed for most of the one-story structures currently making up One45’s parcel (this includes an office building containing the NAN’s existing headquarters). Other lots in consideration remain wholly vacant.

Boarded Up

Plywood and cinderblock in the windows. A new roller blind. The stained glass arched windows, filled in and cemented over.

Found on Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd.

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