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October 15, 2008


NEW YORK, October 15, 2008 – “Harlem 350,” an exhibition saluting the founding of the village of Harlem in the 17th Century and highlighting its history and architecture, opens Monday, October 20 at The City College of New York’s [CCNY] Cohen Library. It will be on view through January 2, 2009.

The exhibit will be located in the Library Atrium in CCNY’s North Academic Center Building, 138th Street and Convent Avenue, Manhattan. It is free and open to the public.  

“In commemoration of the 350th anniversary of Harlem’s birth, “Harlem 350” explores this remarkable neighborhood’s several historic periods in all their complex facets,” said Pamela Gillespie, Assistant Dean and Chief Librarian of the Cohen Library.

“From a rural colonial settlement on the shores of the East River to wealthy estates and plantations in the 18th Century to enclaves of Jewish residents and African-Americans in the 19th and 20th Centuries, Harlem continues to remake itself,” Dean Gillespie added.

Using photographs, maps, and prints, the exhibition documents as well as illustrates Harlem’s social and architectural history.

Originally developed for the middle and upper classes seeking to escape the congestion of the Lower East Side, Harlem became Manhattan’s crown jewel from the 1880s through the first decade of the 20th Century. Transportation innovations brought increased land values as well as the speculators and developers who constructed the elegant rows of brownstones and luxury apartments that attracted the wealthy.  These edifices are still a feature of the neighborhood today.  

Professors William Gibbons, Reference Librarian, and Sydney Van Nort, Chief of the Division of Archives and Special Collections, were co-curators for the exhibit.

For more information about the “Harlem 350” exhibit please call the Cohen Library at (212) 650-7271. 

About The City College of New York

For more than 160 years, The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Over 15,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; the School of Architecture, Urban Design and Landscape Architecture (SAUDLA); the School of Education; the Grove School of Engineering, and the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education. For additional information, visit www1.ccny.cuny.edu.