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.

A SENSORY MONUMENT: 

Celebrating Harlem’s Culture

CCNY STUDENTS

This proposal offers a wide variety of views through the site and of the surrounding neighborhood.  In addition, music and voices within the site can be heard in innovative and imaginative ways. The ground-level is open and flexible, providing a community vendor corridor and a living memory pavilion of transformable space that allows for both solemnity and artistic creation.  Community programming is key to this living memorial.

Brigitte Bozer

 

Marvel Delva

 

Terrelle Powell

Massing of the proposed project rendered as an object in space.

STUDENT PROJECTS

For over a decade, the Harlem African Burial Ground Task Force has been studying this sacred, historic site in detail, oftentimes in collaboration with elected officials, city and state agencies, community activists and professionals from a wide variety of fields – history, archaeology, religious ministries, architecture, and urban planning.  The goal is simple: to deeply understand the spiritual, historical, cultural, social and economic significance of this site and integrate this knowledge into a thoughtful redevelopment agenda.  

 

The Task Force has also collaborated with architecture and urban planning professors and their students in academic programs from Hunter College (2011) and City College (2019) to demonstrate the variety of physical options available for redeveloping this sacred and historic site. Though not endorsing any of these particular ideas, the Task Force shares them here, and looks forward to continued collaboration with all stakeholders as this important site moves through a city-led redevelopment process.