Banana Kelly and Urban Renewal in the South Bronx
936, 940 and 944 Kelly Street
In the mid 1970s, the South Bronx reached its nadir of post-WW-II decline. Numerous buildings were intentionally burned by property owners who could no longer make a profit on their investments and wanted to collect insurance. At the start of the second game of the 1977 World Series at Yankee Stadium, an aerial shot of the stadium also caught a large fire in the neighborhood and sportscaster Howard Cosell famously remarked, "There it is, ladies and gentlemen, the Bronx is burning."
However, within this battle-scarred neighborhood, a number of grassroots organizations rose up to regain control of their community. These pages describe the efforts of a group that called themselves Banana Kelly, and other transformations of the surrounding Longwood neighborhood.
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