To watch the National Black Theater’s founder, Barbara Ann Teer explain her leveraging real estate to support the arts, see this great clip that shows the $10,000,000 project that is now slated to be torn down and replaced:
Note that Barbara Ann Teer was rejected by 14 banks in her quest for financing this amazing project.
For more on Barbara Ann Teer, see:
A Chef’s Guide to Food and Culture in NYC
By Marcus Samuelsson
Here’s one notable New Yorker’s ideal itinerary in NYC—and it could be yours too. Enter our sweepstakes for a chance to experience it in real life, plus a free trip for you and a friend.
NYC inspires adventure through the celebration of food, culture and art. The City constantly inspires me through its rich diversity, and I’m always discovering new places in my neighborhood and beyond. —Marcus Samuelsson, Chef-owner of Red Rooster
Barbara Ann Teer speaks about the inspiration of her sister in forming and developing the National Black Theater at this groundbreaking dedication clip (click on the chevron pointing right on the text, below) :
And to hear more about the devistating fire that (in part) sparked the rebirth of the National Black Theater, see:
Randall’s Island to Get $1,000,000 (almost) For Improvements
The total of $950,000 recently awarded by Assembly Member Robert Rodriguez, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, and Council Member Diana Ayala will further ongoing efforts by the Randall’s Island Park Alliance, working in partnership with the NYC Parks Department, to restore and develop the Park as one of New York’s premier destinations for sports, recreation and relaxation. The generous support will help realize a vision of Island-wide pathway improvements to better connect visitors with Park resources, a goal set forth in the 2012 RIPA Strategic Plan, developed in collaboration with NYC Parks, the RIPA Board of Trustees, local stakeholders, elected officials, and on-Island agency stakeholders.
Guided by the Strategic Plan, RIPA is undertaking a comprehensive and innovative complex of access improvements to improve connections between the Island’s main bicycle and pedestrian access points and popular destinations including Icahn Stadium, the Park’s many playing fields, and the Urban Farm and adjacent playground. New pathways will also facilitate multimodal travel through better connections between these destinations and the Park’s major parking lots, bus stops, and new Citibike stations.
“I am pleased to contribute funding that will provide increased accessibility to a Park that is an oasis for New Yorkers,” said Robert Rodriguez, New York State Assembly Member. “The contribution will help move this initiative forward, and fosters RIPA’s careful plan that focuses on access improvements alongside sustaining and programming the Island’s resources.”
“Increasing accessibility within the Park by creating Island-wide pathway improvements will better connect New Yorkers with Park resources and RIPA’s free educational and family-friendly programming,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “Direct access to the Island’s restored natural areas and green space is beneficial for all, and we are glad to contribute to these efforts.”
“Randall’s Island Park is a precious resource for the City of New York, and we are glad that we are able to contribute funding that will accommodate the continuously growing number of visitors and commuters traveling through the Park by foot and bicycle,” said New York City Council Member Diana Ayala.
“For almost 30 years, with the support of the City of New York, the Alliance has spearheaded the restoration and development of the Island. We truly appreciate the continued support of Assembly Member Rodriguez, Borough President Brewer, and Council Member Ayala as they help us achieve our mission to provide equitable access to green space, free educational programming, and world-class facilities to all New Yorkers, especially our neighbors in East Harlem and the South Bronx. Increasing the pathways throughout the Park will contribute to these efforts and benefit the over four million individuals who visit the Island annually,” said Deborah Maher, President of RIPA.
The combined projects build upon decades of public-private partnership to create unprecedented connections that will foster environmental exploration and augment access to recreational facilities and free programming for the millions of New Yorkers who visit each year. In coming years, these connections will foster access to exciting developments including an expanded Sportime Tennis Center, the new Drive Shack golf center, and a central Nature Center hosting RIPA’s many public programs.
Our neighbor, the National Black Theater, is not only planning to knock down it’s current building and construct a theater+residential building in its place, it’s also worked to redesign its visual presence and to address the issue of what to do with the art in the current building:
NBT houses a diverse art collection that celebrates the indigenous and contemporary expressions of the black diaspora. Signature to our collection is the largest assemblage of New Sacred Art in the Western Hemisphere. This collection was commissioned and created on the premises by a dozentraditional artists from Osogbo, Nigeria: Kasali Akangbe Ogun, Yekini Folorunsho Bolarinwa, Adebisi Akanji, Yekini S. Atanda, Buraimoh Gbadimosi, Muraina Oyelami, Jimoh Buraimoh Gbadamosi, Funsho Bamidele Arowogun Owolabi, Emmanuel Bamidele, Chief Nike Davies-Okundaye, Olabayo Olaniyi and Shegun. To learn more about our artwork or to donate a piece to NBT please reach out by email to [email protected].
NBT has a new text logo for publicity:
And has taken ‘Max’ the ‘Maximum Spirit’ and revamped him for 2021:
And the new buiding:
NBT is embarking on a historic major capital redevelopment project that will transform the current property into a 21st-century destination for Black culture through theatre. This redevelopment project will anchor and recapitalize the institution for an even brighter future with a 250-seat flexible temple space and a 99-seat studio theater.
MMP for 8.2 Million
12 Mount Morris Park West is an original woodwork dream mansion. It’s also on the market for 8.2 million.
As we say farewell to 2020, we want to update you on the seeds we have planted during a year that has been marked with tremendous transition and proactive fortification of NBT’s future. NBT has recently formulated a plan to ensure our facility is positioned for Harlem’s future, one that will anchor and recapitalize the institution for generations to come—transforming our current home into a 21st century creative laboratory for Black artists in Harlem and a world-class destination for Black culture.
As you have come to experience in our work and programming, NBT’s unique approach to self determination through art, entrepreneurship and place-making are values seeded by NBT’s Founder, Dr. Barbara Ann Teer, further demonstrated when she secured a landmark home for NBT by purchasing the 64,000 square foot city block at 125th and 5th Avenue (named National Black Theatre Way).
For the past three years with the enthusiasm and support of our community and New York City officials, NBT has been preparing for this historic new building project. Earlier this year on Dr. Teer’s birthday, NBT finalized our redevelopment partnership to formally begin the public facing process of redeveloping the city block Dr. Teer bought in 1986. The new building will help NBT better serve our artists, audience and community in Harlem and around the world. To begin construction on this new building, we must first gradually dismantle the existing structure at 2031-33 Fifth avenue. Beginning mid-December 2020 through April 2021, you will begin to see shifts as we move out of the building, prepare for demolition, say farewell to our current space, and prepare to transform our new home.
During our itinerant phase, NBT’s presence will still be very much felt here in Harlem through ongoing programmatic partnerships with neighboring institutions. Starting next fall 2021, we will partner with the Apollo Theater to utilize their office space and two new flexible performance spaces at the new Victoria. In addition, NBT Beyond Walls and NBT @ HOME, two new programmatic initiatives, will help deepen NBT’s impact by producing continuous and collaborative local, national, and international programming.
Though we acknowledge the emotional weight of closing this incredible chapter in our history, we are embracing a new period of growth in NBT’s life cycle. One where we will continue to have enough. One where we will have what we need to thrive. One where we will work in partnership to manifest our wildest dreams—together!
We will have more updates to share in the months to come. If you have any specific thoughts or questions about this transition or if you would like to support NBT with a tax deductible donation, please contact [email protected] or visit our website.
Wishing you a safe, healthy and joy filled holiday season,
Sade Lythcott, Chief Executive Officer
Property for Sale
Residing on a tree-lined block with homes converted to single family dwellings and condos. The authentic trimmings from 1900 remain intact, presenting an irreplicable charm. 536 West 150th Street connects to Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue in the landmarked national historic district of Hamilton Heights. The up and coming area has tons of services and trendy restaurants. Close to Columbia University, City College, NY Presbyterian-Columbia University Hospital Center, great parks, Yankee Stadium and just one block to the nearest subway, as well as easy access to multiple highways.
Nick Garber at Patch.com reports that The National Black Theater building will be demolished.
If you recall, the NBT had drilling crews out testing the subsoil a month or two ago – a necessary first step before demolition/construction.
The finances of the NBT have been shaky for the last decade or two and this is one of those projects that we’ll believe when it’s occupied. Witness the NBT’s history of unfilled leases, empty storefronts, selling to a developer, demolition/construction plans that come and go, etc.
The permits call for demolishing the row of buildings at 2023-2033 Fifth Ave., between East 125th and 126th streets. That includes the National Black Theatre, which purchased the site in 1983.
In 2017, the theater announced that it had joined forces with L+M Development Partners to construct a 20-story mixed-use building on the site, complete with 240 apartments and a new 30,000-square-foot home for the theater. There will be retail on the ground and second floors, while the theater will occupy the second through fourth floors, City Realty reported last year.
No construction permits have been filed for the new building, but once it begins, it will take about 24 months to complete, according to an environmental review. During that time, the National Black Theater plans to perform at other venues around the city, City Realty reported.
An unspecified percentage of the new units will be affordable, according to the environmental review.
The project won the backing of Community Board 11 and Manhattan Borough president Gale Brewer, and required rezoning that block of Fifth Avenue to allow for increased density.
It sits just a block north of Marcus Garvey Park, but the review found that the 20-story building would not cast significant new shadows over the green space.
Building the new complex would represent a major comeback for the National Black Theater, whose building was almost foreclosed on in 2011 as the organization faced financial disputes with its neighbors.
Sade Lythcott, CEO of the NBT, told the Amsterdam News in August that the theater was raising funds for the redevelopment, which will “transform NBT’s property into a world class, state-of-the-art theater complex deserving of Harlem,” she said.