Photo courtesy Mott Haven Historic Districts Association
Located in the southwestern portion of The Bronx, the primarily residential neighborhood of Mott Haven is undisputedly one of the borough’s most popular areas. While it’s currently undergoing a period of revival and facing gentrification pressures, the neighborhood boasts a rich and colorful history. Named after iron works owner, Jordan Mott, who purchased the land in 1846, Mott Haven has been home to various industries throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, spanning everything from metal works to pianos. Most of these businesses no longer operate, but relics of the neighborhood’s past still very much remain.
To celebrate Mott Haven’s architectural and historical legacy, we’ve rounded up 10 of the most beautiful (and noteworthy) buildings you can find in the neighborhood with help from Samuel Brooks, the President of the Mott Haven Historic Districts Association that seeks to rise awareness about the area.
10. St. Ann’s Church
The first church in The Bronx, St. Ann’s was built in 1840, and was originally founded by the Morris family. It was donated by Gouverneur Morris Jr. as a family monument (the Morrisania Memorial), and serves as his resting place, along with other notables, such as Louis Morris. The church itself, which sits on 295 St. Ann’s Avenue, is named after Ann Morris, a descendant of Pocahontas.
Architecturally speaking, St. Ann’s is a fieldstone building, built in the Gothic Revival style with a Greek Revival style tower. The complex it sits in was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980, and designated a New York City landmark in 1967. It includes a stone parish house that was added in 1916, a graveyard housing the Morris family crypt, and a late 19th-century Sunday School and gymnasium building. Today, St. Ann’s operates as a hub for community events, including an after-school program. It’s also home to the only swings in the neighborhood, and a “really good jungle-gym.”