6
URBAN NEIGHBORHOODS

During the twenties and thirties, the Bronx evolved into a collection of urban neighborhoods. By 1920, Mott Haven, Melrose, Morrisania, and Hunts Point-Crotona Park East had become the urban neighborhoods of the future South Bronx. Between 1920 and 1940, moreover, a host of newly built city neighborhoods increased the urbanized area of the borough. Mott Haven and Melrose were by this time often called the Lower or South Bronx, while Morrisania and Hunts Point-Crotona Park East were lumped together as the “East Bronx.” Apart from nomenclature, the most salient feature of these South Bronx neighborhoods was that they were no longer the same. They had evolved from suburban villages to estabUshed city communities and would continue changing in the decades to come.

The Bronx itself was in flux. In these decades, its population increased almost everywhere (see table 1.1).' Moreover, from the 1920s on, and along with more people, houses, and even more transit, the borough gained institutions, businesses, and public works that enhanced its economy and reputation. In 1923 alone, it gained a lavish hotel and major-league baseball club and stadium. By the late twenties, it was known far and wide as the home of the New York Yankees, the Bronx Zoo, and New York and Fordham universities. By the thirties, it was still known for the Yankees (by then nicknamed the Bronx Bombers), but also for the Lindbergh kidnapping case, and to a lesser extent, for Edward J. Flynn, the Bronx Democratic Party boss who was a close friend and ally of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Flynn's control of a solid Democratic vote made the Bronx an essential campaign stop for all manner of aspiring politicians. Adding to its new nationwide fame was the humor of The Goldbergs. Set in a mythical Bronx apartment in a typical Bronx neighborhood, the weekly NBC radio show kept the name of the Bronx on the air for two decades.2

The major change in the Bronx of the twenties and thirties was the rise of new neighborhoods (see map 6.1) due to the opening of new transit lines

-94-

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The Bronx
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • List of Maps ix
  • List of Tables xi
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • 1: The Bronx and Its Neighborhoods 1
  • 2: Early Beginnings 19
  • 3: The Changing Landscape 41
  • 4: Emerging Neighborhoods 59
  • 5: Boosting a Borough 80
  • 6: Urban Neighborhoods 94
  • 7: The South Bronx 109
  • 8: The Road Back 130
  • Notes 169
  • Bibliography 233
  • Index 265
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