13th District of New York - Interactive Map
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New York’s Thirteenth Congressional District is the quintessential American melting pot — a community built on a number of ethnicities and nationalities, each adding a unique dimension of culture and character to the historic area. Predominantly Black in the early 1900s, the residents of New York’s Thirteenth now reflect a diverse mix of immigrants from Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and other Latin American ethnicities, as well as a smaller European and Asian population.
Since first sending an African American to Congress, the district representing Harlem has had just two House Members, both Democrats: Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., who won a landmark election in 1944, and Congressman Charles Rangel, who unseated Powell in 1970 and has held the seat since. Throughout his career, Congressman Rangel has received the endorsement of not only local Democrats but of the District's small Republican organization, too.
Prior to the 2010 Census, New York State had 27 representatives. Two were lost in redistricting, and as a result, Congressman Rangel's district was changed. Previously including Staten Island and represented by Michael Grimm, the Thirteenth District is now composed of Harlem and a portion of the Northwest Bronx. In terms of districts, the Thirteenth encompasses the old Fifteenth, small parts of the old Fourteenth, Sixteenth, and Seventeenth.
New York’s Thirteenth District covers a broad range of neighborhoods, blanketing Upper Manhattan from East 96th Street and West 100th Street on up.
Outside the borough of Manhattan, the Thirteenth now stretches into the Northwest Bronx. The District includes the Manhattan communities of Central Harlem, East Harlem, Manhattanville, Morningside Heights, Hamilton Heights, Hudson Heights, Washington Heights, Inwood, Marble Hill and the Bronx communities of Kingsbridge, Norwood, Bedford Park, Fordham, and University Heights.
The Thirteenth District of New York is home to over 717,700 residents. Hispanics are the largest ethnic group in the district, making up 55 percent of the population, and occupy East Harlem, West Harlem, and Washington Heights. Twenty-seven percent are African-American, the majority concentration being in West-Central Harlem. Twelve percent of the district is Caucasian with the majority living in the south end of the district. Four percent of the population is Asian, and two percent are classified as other races.
Once home to the brilliant Harlem Renaissance – bringing an unprecedented level of cultural development in the 1920s – the Thirteenth is now in the midst of a new, economic renaissance. Federal Empowerment Zone legislation, championed by Congressman Rangel in 1995, has given rise to a number of bustling economies in a variety of neighborhoods including Washington Heights and Central, East, and West Harlem. The economic growth ignited by high levels of investment and development has attracted scores of people of all races to the historic areas of the Thirteenth, many looking to move in to the majestic and stunning historic Harlem Brownstones that punctuate the district and line Lenox Avenue. The fast pace of economic growth is drawing a new, multiracial middle and upper-middle class to the Thirteenth.
The Thirteenth has long served as a portal to a vibrant and ever-changing population of immigrants. An initial wave of Europeans at the turn of the century settled the area as an affluent extension for Manhattan’s social elite. The early part of the century saw a tremendous migration of Blacks to the district, establishing Harlem as the early center of African American culture. The years following the World Wars saw an influx of Latin American immigrants, primarily Puerto Rican, but with large numbers of Mexicans and Salvadorans as well. In recent years, large numbers of Dominicans have settled through the northern portions of the Thirteenth. Today, new African communities have become a cultural and economic presence in the district, further adding to the rich blend of nationalities and cultures that compose the Thirteenth's distinct character.
The Bronx section of the Thirteenth District is filled with a storied history. The landmarks within the District tell a story of a prosperous and an always thriving city. Beginning in 1874, Kingsbridge became one of the first towns in the Bronx to be annexed by New York City. The Bronx gained recognition as bridges were built to influence effortless commuting between towns.
Through the early 1930s, with the start of the recession, areas currently known as the Thirteenth District continued to flourish. Privately funded apartments were constructed up to six stories high along the Grand Concourse. Manhattan workers moved into the apartments and large Jewish groups began to occupy the area. With the ending of World War II and the baby boom generation, the construction of new properties as well as the population continued to boom. The Bronx underwent a period of urban renewal to accommodate children, the working class, and veterans.
The quickly populating city began to have growing pains as social workers reported areas of poverty within in the Bronx. But, the always thriving Bronx was revived with the construction of the Major Deegan Expressway. By the 1990s, the government began redeveloping the community to cope with the increasing population and now diverse communities of African Americans, Latin Americans, Caucasians, and Asians. The city began to see revitalization including social and economic success. In 1997 the Bronx was named an All America City by the National Civic League. An area first occupied by European colonization is now home to a vast array of ethnicities and cultures.
The Thirteenth boasts a number of world class institutions in education and health. Among the more than two dozen colleges and universities that call the Thirteenth home are City College of New York, Boricua College, and Yeshiva University. The area’s vibrant health care cluster comprises six major hospitals, including New York Presbyterian Hospital and NYU/Mt. Sinai Medical Centers, both first-class centers of research and education.
The District contains such historic sites as the tomb of Ulysses S. Grant and the world-famous Apollo Theatre. In addition to these sites, people from the world over come to visit the historic churches, restaurants, and nightlife of the Thirteenth.
One of the most well-known restaurants in all of New York City is nestled in the Thirteenth: the world famous Sylvia's Restaurant, located on Lenox Avenue in Harlem. Sylvia's captures many of the characteristics that define Harlem as a neighborhood — the delicious food, the friendly atmosphere, and a rich history in its own right. The Lenox Avenue location has succeeded in ways no one thought was possible when it opened in 1962. Today, Sylvia's has opened a franchise in Atlanta, GA, and plans to open more in Texas, Kansas, Illinois, California, South Carolina, and Paris, France. What's the secret to Sylvia's success? Sylvia Woods, a true entrepreneur extraordinaire and the billed 'Queen of Soul Food,' claims that it's a combination of talent, dedication, family support, and an absolutely delicious product. Sylvia's serves its patrons good southern cooking, with a dash of Sylvia's secret seasoning.
Harlem River Park created in 1973 sits on 25 acres of fun filled activities for families and friends to enjoy. This park site, renamed Roberto Clemente Park after the first Latino American Hall-of-famer includes an Olympic size swimming pool, picnic area, a playground and a recreational building.
Former American writer, Edgar Allen Poe's cottage is located on the Grand Concourse. The cottage is part of the National Register of Historic Places. It is open for public viewing and shows the bed Poe’s wife, Virginia died in as well as the rocking chair Poe sat in.
El Museo del Barrio is one of the premier institutions in the country showcasing Latino visual arts. El Museo was founded in 1969 by a group of Puerto Rican educators, artists, and community activists, envisioning an institution that would reflect the richness of their culture. Thirty years later, as New York City's only Latino museum dedicated to Puerto Rican, Caribbean, and Latin American art, El Museo retains its strong community roots as a place of cultural pride and self-discovery through a number of community outreach programs, and simultaneously projects itself nationally through exciting exhibitions and programs.
The Northwest Bronx is home to what is now known as Lehman College. Prior to the educational advancement this building currently holds it was used as a US Navy facility during WWII. The gymnasium which hosts recreational games, hosted the first American meetings of the Security Council. Displayed outside the gymnasium is a dedicatory plaque from the United Nations Association. Early 2000, the High School of American Studies at Lehman College was opened. It has recently been ranked as number two in New York City and New York State and number 19 in the nation.
The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture is a national library which contains over 5,000,000 items and resources documenting the experiences of people of African descent throughout the world. These collections include art objects, audio and video tapes, books, manuscripts, motion picture films, newspapers, periodicals, photographs, prints, recorded music discs, and sheet music. The Center's collections first received international acclaim when the personal collection of the Center's founder, Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, was added to the Division of Negro Literature at the 135th Street Branch of The New York Public Library in 1926. Mr. Shomburg served as curator of the collection from 1932 until his death in 1938. In 1940, the collection was renamed in his honor. The collections at the Schomburg Center have grown and accumulated a number of cultural artifacts over the years, which, along with its services and programs, are used by researchers and citizens from the United States and abroad.
Built in 1758, The Museum of Bronx History at the Valentine Varian House still sits on Bainbridge Avenue and 208th Street. This museum has been filled with laughter, sorrow and joy from the countless number of individuals in which have lived and now visit this once residential property. Over the decades the property had a blacksmith shop, farmland, and slaves. American troops even occupied the house during the Revolutionary War. After more than two centuries of historic activities, the house was donated to be used as a museum. The public may now come in and walk around the house, still styled in the same way it was back in the 1700s. The house has three galleries of exhibitions and a gift store.
The East Harlem Tutorial Program, which began as an after-school program for children in East Harlem in 1948, has flourished into a full-time center dedicated to providing academic support for families and children in East Harlem. The after-school program provides free tutoring and mentoring sessions for students of age 6-19. Students receive one-on-one tutoring from tutors representing a variety of backgrounds. The Center also provides advance computer training for students and their families. The Tutorial Internship Program is a youth development program that prepares students of age 13-19 with crucial life skills, as well as educational, mentoring, and vocational/employment opportunities. Students develop these skills through weekly workshops where they meet and interact with guest speakers; participate in cultural, recreational, and educational trips; and receive health education, career and college preparation, and counseling. Other support services and programs include: The Young Adolescent Program for children of age 10-12; Summer Day Camp; a Media/Technology Education Program; social work and family support services; and community building.