Tag Archives: Mart 125

FILM: Changing Face of Harlem by Shawn Batey

The Changing Face of Harlem Via HarlemCondoLife.com

The Changing Face of Harlem is a new one-hour documentary that examines the revitalization of Harlem told through the deeply personal stories of its residents, small business owners, politicians, developers, and clergy.

The piece takes a critical look at Harlem’s history, early development, and its present transformation, and highlights how a community deals with the challenge of maintaining identity while accepting change.

Three central characters serve as a thread throughout the film providing personal insight into the changes.

Frank, affectionately known as the “mayor of 114th street,” has lived on the same block since the 1940.  Tekima, a florist located in Mart 125 located across from the Apollo Theater on 125th street, opened in 1986.  Asadah, an educator who teaches youth in East Harlem.

Other contributors include Congressman Charlie Rangel, Rev. Calvin Butts of Abyssinian Baptist Church, local architect Zevilla Preston, Nellie Bailey, Director of Harlem Tenants Alliance, Karen Phillips, co-founder of Abyssinian Development Corporation, and Russell and Maurice Grey, father and son owners of Edward Sisters Realty, a black owned and operated agency that has serviced the Harlem community for three generations.

via About The Film | Changing Face of Harlem.

Arts Groups To Occupy Prime Location On 125th Street

By HarlemHouse

Two nonprofit arts groups have been selected as part of the proposed Mart 125 redevelopment project.  They are the National Jazz Museum in Harlem and ImageNation (independent cinema and progressive music established in 1997 to support progressive film and music for black and Latino people).   Soul Cinema would be Harlem’s first and the nation’s only art-house movie theater dedicated to black and Latino films.

mart125-480

Photo: Hiroko Masuike

The jazz museum would use up to 10,000 square feet for a listening library and for performance, exhibition and office space, while ImageNation would create a theater of up to 2,000 square feet.

The project will have to attract interest from developers in order to move forward, and both institutions have announced plans to raise money.

Mart 125 opened in 1986.   It was envisioned as a small-business incubator – creating entrepreneurs who would eventually start their own stores and perhaps own a stake in the Mart.  The state reneted stalls to vendors and promissed management training, which never occured.    The building began to deteriorate, and customer volume could not support the Mart, and stores begain having trouble paying the rent.  The Giuliani administration evicted the vendors.  The building has been empty since 2001.