Melrose Commons Timeline

2012 – El Jardin de Selene receives LEED-Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
2011 – La Terraza is completed.
2010 – El Jardin de Selene opens - first LEED-Gold designed building built on privately acquired land in Melrose Commons.
2010 – Melrose Commons awarded LEED for Neighborhood Development Stage II Silver Certification. The first project of its kind in New York State to receive this type of certification.
2008 – The Aurora is completed – One of the first new condominiums buildings in the South Bronx.
2008 – The Orion is completed – One of the first new condominiums buildings in the South Bronx.
2007 – Parkview II and III completed.
2006 – Courtlandt Homes opens.
2005 – Parkview Commons opens.
2004 – Palacio del Sol is completed.
2001 – La Puerta de Vitalidad is completed.
2000 – La Casa de Felicidad is completed.
1999 – Design work for La Puerta de Vitalidad and La Casa de Felicidad begins.
1998 – Plaza de Los Angeles breaks ground – the first new construction project in Melrose Commons.
1997 – The “Civic Lessons” exhibit opens in New York featuring the best civic projects in New York. The Melrose Commons Plan is prominently featured. The Bronx is designated an “All-American City” by the National Civic Council.
1996 – Melrose Commons plan is awarded the ADPSR Project Award for Socially Responsible Work, “Project of the Year.”
1995 – Magnusson Architecture and Planning and Nos Quedamos receive planning grant from NYSCA.
1994 – After two years of collaborative work between Nos Quedamos, their consultants and the City, the Melrose Commons Urban Renewal Plan is approved and signed into law by the City Council.
1993 – Upon great disapproval of the residents, Yolanda Garcia founds Nos Quedamos/We Stay in order to resist large scale urban renewal plans that would displace thousands of residents of the Melrose section of the Bronx. Starting in February, meetings are held every Tuesday in the Nos Quedamos headquarters (811 Cortlandt Avenue) to inform the community and organize their response to the City Council.
1992 – A public forum to discuss pending developments in the area, organized by the Bronx Center Project, takes place on November 12. At this time, an announcement was made that the Melrose Commons Urban Renewal Plan was in the process of being certified.
1991 – The Bronx Center Project, a collaborative, community-based plan to revitalize a deteriorated 300 block section of the South Bronx begins. The Melrose Commons Urban Renewal Plan is part of this project. Petr Stand of MAP co-chairs this committee.
1990 – Population of Melrose has decreased to 6,000 with a median income of $12,000. This same year, the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (D.E.I.S.) issues plans for its original urban renewal.
1990s – The turnaround begins with a Melrose headed towards full improvement. The Melrose Commons Development receives multiple awards in its honor and features in numerous exhibits.
1989 – A 52-unit New York City Housing Partnership townhome development "Melrose Homes” is built in Melrose by Magnusson Architecture and Planning.
1988 – Borough President Fernando Ferrer establishes “ New Directions for the Bronx” a study of how new housing and commercial development could reshape the Bronx – Magnus Magnusson serves on the new affordable housing prototype advisory board.
1987 – Fernando Ferrer elected Borough President.
1985 – As part of a $5 billion funding for New York City, Mayor Koch initiates a program that would spend $1.5 billion on affordable housing for the Bronx over the next decade.
1984 – 55% of families are below the poverty level, 39% of which are receiving welfare.
1980s – The reversal towards cleaning up the South Bronx begins. During the late 1980s, initial plans for a middle-income, home-ownership-based community in Melrose are developed by the Departments of City Planning and Housing Preservation and Development.
Between 1970 and 1980, the population drops from 21,000 to 3,000.
1977 – President Jimmy Carter makes a visit to the South Bronx which is later televised and broadcast on the radio. After the 1977 World Series, held at Yankee’s Stadium, America receives it’s 1st look at the devastation and corruption of the South Bronx – “The Bronx is burning.”
1970s – Gangs targeted at the youth of the Bronx grow in popularity. Arson, crime, and devastation nearly ruin the South Bronx.
1961 – The Throg’s Neck Bridge opens.
1960s – Melrose Avenue is considered the Broadway of the Bronx.
1955 – The Major Deegan Expressway opens.
Between the 30s and 50s most established European immigrants leave the South Bronx due to better living opportunities upstate and on the periphery of the Bronx.
1939 – The Bronx-Whitestone Bridge opens.
1938 – Alexander’s Department Store opens on Fordham. It soon makes more sales than any other department store in the US.
1936 – The Henry Hudson Bridge, Henry Hudson Parkway, and Triborough Bridge are open to traffic.
1934 – 49% of the population in the Bronx is Jewish. At this time, the Bronx has more amenities than any other borough (95% with central heating, 97% with hot water, 99% with private bathrooms).
1930s – The population of Melrose steadily drops.
1929 – The Great Depression hits. Rapid growth dies, but the Bronx is still relatively well-off.
1923 – Yankee’s Stadium opens. The New York Yankees become known as “The Bronx Bombers.”
1920 – The population of Melrose reaches 53,188. The Jewish community is introduced and the automobile begins influencing the design and location of small homes.
1920s – Italian, Russian and Jewish populations in the Bronx grow. Urbanization continues. Most tenements of the South Bronx are built.
1915 – The Bronx Borough Courthouse was built in Melrose.
1914 – The Bronx becomes a separate, and the last, county of the state of New York.
1912 – The Bronx flag is designed. It consists of orange, white and blue horizontal stripes to represent the Netherlands, upon which is superimposed the Bronck family coat-of-arms enclosed in a laurel wreath.
1911 – “The Hub” becomes “the great business center of the north borough” and “the most prominent shopping district in the Bronx.”
1910s – The South Bronx / Melrose residents are living in exceptionally good circumstances.
1904 – Expansion of the Bronx begins with the first subway connecting the Bronx and Downtown New York. Old Melrose Village (South Melrose) becomes “the hub of the entire Bronx.”
Throughout the 1900s – Along with the growing industrialization, the South Bronx population increases.
1898 – The city of Greater New York is created as a federation of five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island. Louis F. Haffen is elected the first Borough President of the Bronx.
1890s – Melrose grows in popularity and becomes more urban due to 3rd Avenue elevated train.
1889 – The Washington Bridge between the mainland and Manhattan over the Harlem River opens.
1887 – The Third Avenue El (Elevated Train) is extended along the eastern edge of Melrose. Some residential construction begins in streets adjacent to Third Avenue. Construction is predominantly three- to four-story tenements.
1875 – The population of Melrose doubles to 8,000 since 1865.
1874 – The portion of the Bronx west of the Bronx River, where Melrose is located, is annexed by New York City and becomes the twenty-third and twenty-fourth wards of New York City.
1864 – A horse-car line is established on the east side of Melrose.
1850 – Samuel Denman purchases 120 acres of South Melrose from Gerard and Henry Morris. Together, Elton and Denman market their holdings with those of William H. Morris, the owner of Melrose, platting right-angle streets and dividing the three tracts into more than 1,000, 50 x 100-foot lots.
1850s – The Bronx develops as a suburb for people working in the city. The population of South Melrose and Melrose is predominantly German, while North Melrose attracts the Irish population. The main street, Cortlandt Avenue, is eventually dubbed “Dutch Broadway” and Melrose becomes an extension of Manhattan’s German quarter.
1849 – Robert H. Elton purchases the seven acres that comprise North Melrose from Governor Morris in December.
1790 – Lewis Morris, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and owner of the Morrisania manor, proposes his property as the site of the future capital of the United States, located on the southwest corner of the Bronx, this entire avenue was called Morrisania.
1748 – The Van Cortlandt House is built by Frederick van Cortlandt. This is currently the oldest house in the Bronx.
1673 – The Boston Post Road begins as a path to deliver the post between New York City and Boston passing through Melrose, in the Bronx, and continuing into Westchester county. It is currently known as 3rd Avenue in Melrose Commons and then Boston Road beginning at 165th Street and 3rd Avenue.
1654 – 15 men settle at the head of navigation of Westchester Creek (now the Bronx River) and found the first village in the area, called Westchester (located at what is now West farms in the south Bronx). This is the first permanent settlement in the Bronx.
1639 – Swedish sea captain Jonas Bronck settles in the “South Bronx.” He builds a farmstead at what becomes 132nd Street and Lincoln Avenue (1 mile south of Melrose Commons). Dutch, German, and Danish servants settle with him.
1609 – Henry Hudson sails up the Hudson River, exploring the Dutch East India Company. He becomes the first European to see what is now called the Bronx.