Living Memorial, Living Economy
This proposal advocates for the 2nd Avenue subway to be connected to the Harlem African Burial Ground, making the site easily accessible for visitors and residents alike. It also emphasizes interconnectivity between the site and the Harlem River waterfront, restoring the historic link between the two. A community-led public marketplace is at the center of the ground level, while the rooftop terraces provide ample private and semi-private outdoor green space.
Aerial perspective of the proposed design looking west within the larger neighborhood context.
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.