La Sinagoga

On East 125th Street, just east of Park and the tall Lee Building (that boarders Metro North) a low 3 story building with dormer windows and arched brownstone 2nd floor windows was a vaudeville venue called The Orpheum. The view of The Orpheum (below) is from 1904:

After that, the building was called The Harlem Strand Theater for a while, until its owners were sued by Mitchel H. Mark Realty Corp (owners of the Strand Theater near Times Square) for trademark infringement.

After the theater operated as the Strand from 1914-1917 the building shifted to a movie house and again and was renamed as The Grand:

Today the building is owned by a Pentecostal church that calls itself “La Sinagoga”.

The name La Sinagoga originated from an earlier location for this church in the basement of a synagogue on 109th Street between Madison and Park Avenues. 

As Seen In Harlem

Augusta Savage. Sculptor, artist, educator, and activist.

Harlem Community Art Center

It is hard to imagine the federal government funding an art center in Harlem today, but in the depression, the Democratic administration did just that.

The Harlem Community Art Center was located in the building that now has Cohen Fashion Optical on the ground floor – at the corner of 125th Street and Lenox Avenue.

The Harlem Community Art Center was created in November 1938 and only operated for 16 months. Eleanor Roosevelt opened the Center which operated under the Works Progress Administration.

The acclaimed sculptor – Augusta Savage – headed the Center which taught art to both children and adults. Pictured below, Augusta Savage was the preeminent Black sculptor of the 1930s and one of the few American women to be acknowledged as a sculptor by the notoriously clannish art establishment in New York.

The acknowledgment of her talent led to a commission to create a monumental sculpture for the 1939 Worlds Fair. The work, photographed below with Augusta Savage working on details, was destroyed at the end of the Fair.

Jacob Lawrence, a painter who depicted Harlem life in many of his paintings, attended programs at the Center and often taught classes.

Below is Lawrence’s painting of a Black, southern doctor who would migrate north during the Great Migration to follow his patients and escape southern terror.

DEP Jobs!

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has posted a position for City Park Workers who will assist with maintenance for our rain gardens. The maintenance work includes overall care and upkeep of the rain gardens such as edging, seeding, snow removal, cultivating, fertilizing, trimming etc.

Minimal qualification requirements including a valid New York State Driver’s License, and additional information are in the attachment provided, or by visiting:

DEP, Bureau of Public Affairs