The Harlem African Burial Ground Task Force is a group of concerned citizens who have united to help the Elmendorf Reformed Church to restore and memorialize its historically and culturally significant colonial African burial ground at 1st Avenue, between 126th and 127th Streets in East Harlem, New York City.

126th STREET BUS DEPOT

1940s to Present

Landfill - a method of creating more land by depositing refuse and/or soil in the water

MAP KEY

Historical Boundary

of the 

Harlem African Burial Ground

126th Street Bus Depot

2014 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map (NYPL)

SYNOPSIS

After the Hearst movie studio closed and was torn down, the Third Avenue Railway Company built a trolley barn to house its trolley cars/buses, which were no longer connected to rails embedded in the avenue. In 1962, the Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority (now New York City Transit Authority) purchased the privately controlled bus depot and the City of New York took control of the land. After acknowledgment of the existence of the colonial Harlem African Burial Ground under the depot, together with New York City Transit Authority's reassessment of its transportation infrastructure needs, the bus depot was vacated in 2015. Operations formerly conducted in the depot were moved off­site.

View of the bus depot from 2nd Avenue and 126th Street, circa 1940 (Photo, NYC Municipal Archives)

HARLEM TRANSFORMATION: 1820 to Present

The slider below shows the transformation of Harlem from a rural village in 1820 to a bus depot facility starting in the 1940s. The block occupied by the 126th Street Bus Depot is highlighted in red and is overlaid with the historical footprint of the Harlem African Burial Ground in orange.

MORE HISTORY