Longwood, The Bronx (History)

(Neighborhoods In The Bronx)

longwoodLongwood is a low income residential neighborhood geographically located in the southwest Bronx, New York City. The neighborhood is part of Bronx Community Board 2. Its boundaries, starting from the north and moving clockwise are: East 167th Street to the north, the Bronx River & the Bruckner Expressway to east, East 149th Street to the south, and Prospect Avenue to the west. Southern Blvd is the primary thoroughfare through Longwood. The local subway is the 6 line, operating along Southern Blvd. Zip codes include 10455 and 10459. The neighborhood is served by the NYPD’s 41st Precinct. NYCHA property in the area is patrolled by P.S.A. 7 at 737 Melrose Avenue in the Melrose section of the Bronx.

Longwood has a population over 35,000 people. For decades Longwood has been one of the poorest communities in America. Over half the population lives below the poverty line and receives public assistance (AFDC, Home Relief, Supplemental Security Income, and Medicaid). Longwood has one of the highest concentrations of Puerto Ricans in all of New York City. The vast majority of households are renter occupied.

For the 20th Century’s first half, Longwood was filled with Jews. Beginning in the 1950s, the Puerto Ricans moved to Longwood from their native island. Shortly after, white flight and abandonment began. Many buildings began to burn down in the late 1960s. The wave of arson ended when community groups such as Banana Kelly and SEBCO began to protect the remainder of tenement buildings. Federal funding for new multi-family homes began in 1986 under the Ed Koch administration.

During the mid-1990s, local and federal governments invested over $550 million in new subsidized residential housing and the expansion of businesses and commerce. With the building of the new South Bronx headquarters of P.A.L.; the relocation of the 41st Precinct of the NYPD from Simpson Street to Longwood Avenue; the Banana Kelly High School; and several small and large businesses (such as Rite Aid and McDonald’s). Thanks in part to the new 41st Precinct on Longwood Avenue and Southern Blvd and public and private investment in the community.