The Harlem Oral History Project

Timothy Jacobs

My Idea

My idea is — Columbia University capitalizing off of Harlem.  Columbia is working on an on-going project that would redesign the whole area from 125th street up until 133rd street from 12th avenue to broadway.  Columbia owns 61 out of the 67 buildings in this 17 acre development zone.  These buildings include gas stations, commercial buildings, small restaurants, McDonalds, car repair shops, and more.  Columbia has taken over many buildings from about 110th street up to 130th street.  They also own buildings in the 160s and 170s. Columbia is trying to turn this area into a completely redesigned area and a major medical center.  There plans would result in wider side walks, more light, a new high school, new commercial development and a new place for the Science and Health facilities.  Looking at these plans they look spectacular, and seem like they could bring new life to the area.  I would interview people that work at these places, people who owned some of these buildings and surrounding residents to see what they thought about it.

Possible Characters

Some of my characters would be employee’s at different businesses in the Manhattanville area. I would also want to interview the owners of stores that were bought out by Columbia and ask them what happened. I would also like to interview the people that didn’t sell to Columbia and for what reasons. I would also talk with older people in the neighborhood who have seen how the area has evolved, from being a thriving area to almost nothing.

Interview with Betty Davis

Interview with Rev. Hill Part 1/2

Interview with Rev. Hill Part 2/2

Interview with Tom Demott Part 1/3

Interview with Tom Demott Part 2/3

Interview with Tom Demott Part 3/3

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