|Title:||Morningside Area Alliance records 1947-1992|
|Physical description:||149 linear ft. (118 record cartons 4 oversized flat boxes 75 tubes 3 document boxes)|
|Language(s):||Material is in English|
This collection is arranged in 15 series:
This large collection contains the entirety of the materials produced and saved by Morningside Heights Inc. and the Morningside Area Alliance from the organization’s inception in 1947 to the 1992 transfer of the records from the Alliance to Columbia University. It is likely that some items, especially those that more closely resembled personal correspondence of the officers (many of whom held their positions in Morningside Heights Inc./Morningside Area Alliance in addition to multiple other positions across the city and state of New York, in both public and private capacities), were retained by the individuals or discarded as they saw fit. The vast majority of all other materials that stayed with the files of the organization and its offices, however, are present in the collection.
The collection contains the records of the Board of Directors as well as the Executive Committee and the various committees that were formed at different times to address different issues. These records are mostly made up of the files for each meeting of the Board or committee, and contain the minutes of the meeting as well as copies of supporting materials distributed to those present. There are also occasional memoranda addressed to all members. The financial records and documents of the organization are also present, and range in form from receipts and stock certificates to financial planning documents and yearly audit and budget reports. These records exist not only for Morningside Area Alliance but also for some of the individual committees and their projects, as well as for Remedco. The files from the main office of the Morningside Area Alliance are present in the collection as well, and mostly contain the records of the secretarial work necessary to keep the organization running—including receipts, office equipment information, correspondence, and memos.
As part of the Alliance’s information-gathering and distribution mission reports, plans, publications, theses, and dissertations on anything that concerned their mission were collected and these materials have been retained in the collection. These materials are most often concerned with education, youth programming and youth crime, public housing, and urban renewal, and were mostly published and written either specifically for the Alliance or for the United States and New York State and City Government and their various agencies and authorities.
Many records were retained together with others compiled for a specific type of use. In this format, the collection contains a large group of subject files arranged alphabetically. In addition there are working files, separated by subject but presumably maintained specifically for ongoing work within the organization. The Alliance also ran a “Planning Center” which carried out the city and neighborhood-planning function to which the Alliance increasingly dedicated itself. The files for this body, were retained and are found together within the collection. Overall the largest piece of the collection are the project files, which are files containing the records of the various projects—separated by focus of project—undertaken by the Alliance, its committees, and the bodies those created. These are the files that contain the greatest depth of material in the collection, and include documentation of great detail such as hourly patrol log reports from the Morningside Community Patrol and data sheets from block surveys of building conditions in the Morningside area.
Photographs appear throughout many different parts of the collection. Those that were already filed within the materials of a specific series have been retained in this order and their presence is noted in the container list. Those that were not associated with any specific part of the collection have been separated into their own series. There are three major types of photographs in the collection: promotional photos, created for the sponsoring institutions; photos of building, redevelopment, and housing projects; and street photography depicting residents, street scenes, and activities in Morningside Heights.
Finally, the collection contains many large-format maps, plans, and diagrams created by the Alliance for both their planning and their information-gathering missions. Many of these were created near the beginning of the organization’s existence in its initial push to amass a collected body of neighborhood information where none had previously existed. These were retained separately within the collection, and so have been set apart as its own series.
This series contains the records of the Board of Directors for Morningside Heights Inc./Morningside Area Alliance, as well as the records of the Executive Committee and some of the various other committees that were formed over the years. The committee on cooperative housing and committee on education are some of the best represented here. The files usually contain the records of each meeting--the agenda and minutes, the materials distributed to those present at the meeting, memoranda for members, and occasionally correspondence between members and receipts or other items which were of concern to the board or those present at the meeting. Also included in this series are files from the office of one-time director Barney Weinberg. Correspondence is included in his files, as are a number of photographs and negatives made by WeinbergSeries II: Consultant and Student Theses, 1953-1972
This series contains the bulk of the larger-scale reports and theses generated by consultants, employees of the organization, and students. For the most part they have either been written in conjunction with or in service of the Alliance. Where this is not the case, the reports were likely retained because they were on topics that affect or are affected by the organization. In some cases the contributing material to the report has been retained--i.e. tabulations of figures or preliminary drafts--but for most it is only the final published report that was retained.Series III: Education, 1954-1982
This series contains materials on education both collected and created by the Alliance. As opposed to the "Schools" subseries of the Project Files series, the materials that have been retained in this series are mostly concerned with educational programs in the community which fall outside of the standard offerings of the city's public education system. The series includes information on and examples of guides and resources for teachers and youth. There is also a large body of literature on programs created by the institutions that are meant to serve the members of the community, as well as literature on similar programs and options outside of these institutions-- such as the Peace Corps. For much of its existence the Alliance published an "Inventory of Resources" in the community and the educational materials that went into this publication are included here. Also collected are clippings on programs and institutions of higher education in the neighborhood, newsletters arising out of the area's educational programs, as well as publications and journals concerning the topic of urban education.Series IV: Financial Records, 1947-1990
This series is made up of the various financial records generated by and for the Alliance. Much of the series is comprised of budget, financial, and audit reports created for the organization and produced yearly. Also included are materials and some correspondence about the stock options and institutional funding of the organization, especially from its early days as Morningside Heights Inc. In addition there are some materials about small-scale expenses and funding such as office supplies. This series is mostly concerned with the finances of Morningside Heights Inc./Morningside Area Alliance as itself. Materials relating to the finances of the bodies and organizations created by the Alliance usually appear with the rest of the materials on these groups, rather than in this series.Series V: General Publications, 1945-1978
This is a small series, and contains publications that were not retained specifically with any other group. Publications that appear here are those —such as literary publications, histories, and religious publications. In addition there are directories and guidebooks--of New York City and otherwise--that have been retained under this category.Series VI: Government Programs and Publications, 1949-1978
This series contains information and publications generated by either city, state, or federal government agencies. By far the majority of the materials are on programs and publications of the United States Government. In line with the Alliance's early mission and work, the materials are mostly concerned with public housing as well as the legislation and funding affecting these programs. Grant notifications on projects carried out by the Alliance are included here. Some court records concerning housing in the city of New York have also been retained, along with official record of action on housing legislation in both the New York State and United States Legislatures.Series VII: Main Office Files, 1946-1991
This series is made up of the materials retained from the Alliance's main office, and the employees and functions which were located there. There is a collection of contact information along with a chronological file of correspondence directed to the main office. A particularly valuable resource that appears in this series is the entire run of the Alliance's Staff Notes newsletter--in existence for almost as long as the organization itself--as well as material on the writing and publishing of this document. Some human resources materials are included as well as a collection of "Historical Files,"organizational files from the beginning of Morningside Heights Inc. which were apparently set apart from the others.Series VIII: Maps and Plans
One of the largest founding mandates for the Alliance was the gathering and mapping of information that had previously been unavailable. Most of the large-format copies of these maps, and occasionally their accompanying architectural or neighborhood plans, have been retained in this series. The maps and plans are almost exclusively of the neighborhood of Morningside Heights, but occasionally maps of neighborhoods in the vicinity or maps of the entire city are included. A wide variety of information has been mapped onto the materials in this series, including demographic, population, land use, zoning, transportation, institutional expansion, economic, and physical building characteristics. Most of the maps appear to have been made as part of major studies carried out by the Alliance, especially the Morningside-Manhattanville Redevelopment Report (1951) and the Morningside Heights Core Area Study (1968).Series IX: Photographs, 1949-1969
This series is comprised of the photographic materials in the collection which were not already filed with the materials of another series. Photographs located in the files of another series have been left there and their presence noted in the container list. Included in this series are a large number of promotional photos from the various sponsoring institutions, along with many photographs of buildings and facilities in Morningside Heights. Most of these photos were created or collected for use in reports published by the Alliance. Also included are the contents of a photo exhibit displaying the photography of Richard Conrad depicting mostly street scenes around Morningside Heights as well as the inhabitants of the neighborhood. The text of the exhibit, though it has not been associated with any particular group of photos, has also been retained.Series X: Planning Files, 1948-1977
This series consists of the files compiled by the planning arm of the Alliance for use in neighborhood planning and its large role in the organization's published reports. The files in this series are mostly organized on a certain subject, city, government body, or institution and are arranged roughly alphabetically. Also included are the different indices created for the organization’s maps and charts.Series XI: Project Files, 1947-1989
This large series is made up of material both generated by and used by the bodies the Alliance created to carry out the various projects it undertook. The series has been broken up into subseries according to the scope of the projects.Subseries 11.1. Buildings, 1947-1982
This subseries contains the materials generated by the Alliance's projects concerning the built environment and infrastructure in Morningside Heights. Included are clippings and information on certain buildings and facilities of interest to the organization, as well as pamphlets and information about the issues involved with redevelopment, public housing, and slum clearance. The Alliance also kept extensive records on the condition of buildings in the neighborhood and the history of their ownership--block by block, house by house in most cases--and these are included here. Those buildings of interest that showed up in the City's court calendars for various complaints--usually unsafe or unsanitary conditions--were also heavily tracked, the documentation of which has been retained. Finally, records on the construction and finance of Morningside Gardens are found in this series as well.Subseries 11.2. Community Services and Programs, 1953-1988
This subseries is made up of records of the Alliance's work to increase services to the community in a variety of areas, but mostly in services and activities to be provided to neighborhood youth outside of schools. Appearing here are directories and inventories of neighborhood services, publications on existing city and state-wide services by both public and private enterprise, and publications and plans about how to increase offerings of community-service programs within the neighborhood. As part of this function the Alliance also tracked and recorded services and programs offered by the sponsoring institutions--such as continuing education offered at Columbia University for community members--and put together many services of its own--such as the Stone Gym Youth Center, several summer camps and activities, and several sports leagues. The records of these endeavors--including contracts, receipts, registrations, and publications--are found in this subseries.Subseries 11.3. General Neighborhood Renewal Plan, 1947-1979
This subseries contains mostly reports and their contributing materials generated by the Alliance to assist and influence the GRNP process. Publications which preceded the existence of the GNRP--such as materials on slum clearance and on Title I housing--have also been occasionally filed in this subseries, presumably as source material for the overall character and construction of the neighborhood. A large collection of news clippings on the plan have also been retained here. The GNRP was carried out through many different individual projects, which generated documentation for themselves--most of which can be found here. The Morningside Heights Core Area Study and its contributing materials have also been filed in this subseries.Subseries 11.4. Public Safety, 1954-1989
This subseries is made up of the materials generated and retained by the Alliance through its broad efforts to improve public safety in Morningside Heights. The records of the Morningside Street Patrol (later changed to "Community Patrol") are found here, and include patrol logs, dispatch records, and collected complaints to and about the service, amongst other items. The records of the "Operation Alliance" project are also included here. The project was made up of several different arms--including an escort service for vulnerable citizens, a campaign to increase public awareness about safety issues, and work directly with criminals and problem individuals--and all are heavily documented in this subseries along with the documentation necessary for the grants that funded the project. Also collected here are pamphlets and publications on public safety and public safety programs across the country.Series XII: Remedco, 1946-1953
This relatively small series consists of materials created by Remedco in carrying out its mission. It includes the records of the Remedco's creation and function as a stockholder's corporation--certificate of incorporation, board meeting minutes and files, stock certificates and financial documents, and correspondence with the sponsoring institutions who purchased shares. Also included are "Prospecti" for the city blocks where Remedco was considering purchasing property.Series XIII: Subject Files, 1944-1990
The subject files are files that were collected and placed together to provide information on subjects of interest to the Alliance--which range from housing and redevelopment to education and youth. The files are mostly arranged alphabetically, but a small final section that had never been filed among the rest remains out of order. Larger topics are broken up into subheadings underneath the main topic. The subject files are a good place to begin research, and they cover a very wide variety of topics that include the tasks the organization undertook along with the workings of the Alliance itself and the various bodies it has created.Series XIV: Urban Renewal, 1949-1977
This series is composed of pamphlets, publications, reports, and other materials having to do with urban renewal--a topic of central concern to the Alliance, especially in its early years as Morningside Heights Inc. The majority of items in the series are reports and publications on specific urban renewal projects or on general renewal programs--in New York City and elsewhere. The series also contains information collected on urban renewal programs and funding carried out by the federal government, and some information on the legislation regarding these programs.Series XV: Working Files, 1949-1969
Another relatively small series, this part of the collection consists of files that accumulated while projects were in progress. These files remained separated from the materials of any other series though the items themselves are from the Alliance's early days as Morningside Heights Inc. The files consist mostly of collected information on a certain topic, filed together with correspondence and other information necessary to conduct business. Where an order is present the files are arranged alphabetically, however the entire alphabetical arrangement is not represented in the collection and it is likely some files were removed and filed into the materials of other series at a date preceding final processing.
This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least two business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The Columbia University Archives approves permission to publish that which it physically owns; the responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Morningside Area Alliance Records; Box and Folder; University Archives, Columbia University Library.
Finding aid in repository and online; folder level control
Columbia University. Office of the President. Central Files, 1890-1984 [Bulk Dates: 1890-1983] Columbia University Archives Historical Subject Files, 1870s-2012. [Bulk Dates: 1968-1972]. Columbia University Archives
Columbia University Archives; machine readable finding aid created by Columbia University Libraries Digital Library Program Division
Records processed 2003 Soraya Ciego and Jeff Barton
Records processed 06/--/2012 Charles Macquarie, Pratt Institute 2012
Finding aid written 06/--/2012 Charles Macquarie, Pratt Institute 2012
Funding for the initial processing of this collection was made possible by a grant from the New York State Documentary Heritage Program.
Machine readable finding aid generated from MARC-AMC source via XSLT conversion November 6, 2012Finding aid written in English.
|Nat'l / Int'l Archives:|
|Cathedral of St. John the Divine (New York, N.Y.)||Portal||CLIO||ArchiveGRID|
|Corpus Christi Church (New York, N.Y.)||Portal||CLIO||ArchiveGRID|
|General Grant Houses.||Portal||CLIO||ArchiveGRID|
|Remedco--Real Estate corporation.||Portal||CLIO||ArchiveGRID|
|St. Hilda's Church (New York, N.Y.)||Portal||CLIO||ArchiveGRID|
|St. Hilda's and St. Hugh's Schools (New York, N.Y.)||Portal||CLIO||ArchiveGRID|
|St. Luke's Hospital (New York, N.Y.)||Portal||CLIO||ArchiveGRID|
|Nat'l / Int'l Archives:|
|Real estate maps.||Portal||CLIO||ArchiveGRID|
|Nat'l / Int'l Archives:|
|Bank Street College of Education.||Portal||CLIO||ArchiveGRID|
|Columbia University.--Teachers College.||Portal||CLIO||ArchiveGRID|
|Community development corporations.||Portal||CLIO||ArchiveGRID|
|Eisenhower, Dwight D. (Dwight David), 1890-1969.||Portal||CLIO||ArchiveGRID|
|Fackenthal, Frank Diehl, 1883-1968.||Portal||CLIO||ArchiveGRID|
|Harlem (New York, N.Y.)--Morningside Heights--20th century.||Portal||CLIO||ArchiveGRID|
|Housing--Finance--Law and legislation.||Portal||CLIO||ArchiveGRID|
|Jewish Theological Seminary of America.||Portal||CLIO||ArchiveGRID|
|Juilliard Musical Foundation.||Portal||CLIO||ArchiveGRID|
|Kirk, Grayson L. (Grayson Louis), 1903-||Portal||CLIO||ArchiveGRID|
|Libraries and schools.||Portal||CLIO||ArchiveGRID|
|Manhattan School of Music (New York, N.Y.)||Portal||CLIO||ArchiveGRID|
|Morningside Area Alliance.||Portal||CLIO||ArchiveGRID|
|Morningside Heights, Inc.||Portal||CLIO||ArchiveGRID|
|Moses, Robert, 1888-1981.||Portal||CLIO||ArchiveGRID|
|New York (N.Y.)||Portal||CLIO||ArchiveGRID|
|Riverside Church (New York, N.Y.)||Portal||CLIO||ArchiveGRID|
|Rockefeller Brothers Fund.||Portal||CLIO||ArchiveGRID|
|Rockefeller, David, 1915-||Portal||CLIO||ArchiveGRID|
|Social work with youth.||Portal||CLIO||ArchiveGRID|
|Union Theological Seminary (New York, N.Y.)||Portal||CLIO||ArchiveGRID|
|Wagner, Robert F. (Robert Ferdinand), 1877-1953.||Portal||CLIO||ArchiveGRID|
Morningside Area Alliance was founded as Morningside Heights Inc. in 1947, out of the recommendations of two Columbia University-instituted committees—acting University President Frank D. Fackenthal's Morningside Heights Development Committee, and the University’s extant Committee on Research in Urban Land Use and Housing. Together the committees concluded that any work toward development, redevelopment, and institutional expansion in Morningside Heights would be wasted without collaboration across all institutions in the area. After initial meetings of institutional representatives from the fourteen institutions involved (Columbia University, St. Luke's Hospital, Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, Teacher's College, Barnard College, Corpus Christi Church, Home for Old Men and Aged Couples, International House, Jewish Theological Seminary, Juilliard School of Music, St. Hilda's and St. Hugh's School, The Riverside Church, Union Theological Seminary, and the Women's Hospital of St. Luke's Center) during which the name of Morningside Heights Inc. was agreed upon, Lawrence Orton, a member of the New York City Planning Commission, was appointed Directing Consultant, later to become Executive Director, and David Rockefeller was appointed president of the Executive Committee.
The organization began by focusing on information gathering, mapping, and planning as a way to carry out the stated goal of “[promoting] the improvement of Morningside Heights as an attractive, residential, educational, and cultural area.” The original certificate of incorporation further defines the methods, stating that the organization will strive to collect, study and disseminate information, research and data affecting the improvement, redevelopment, and advancement of the area; to appear before official bodies to accomplish these purposes; to increase cooperation between real estate and mortgage holders for the improvement of the district; to acquire property, provided it is necessary for these purposes; to further or cause activities which will in any manner further the intent and purposes given above.
By the end of 1948 Morningside Heights Inc. made the decision to work towards neighborhood improvements by focusing on developing public housing and improving public schools.
In addition the organization’s housing-improvement mission, it was decided that Morningside Heights Inc. would act as a “clearing house” for all real estate purchases and transactions by the sponsoring institutions. To aid in this task, the stock corporation Remedco was founded in 1949 to act as the real estate arm of Morningside Heights Inc. Given the task of acting “as vehicle for any business activity…undertaken jointly” by the supporting institutions, Remedco was operated by a small executive committee made up of experienced real estate businessmen who could move more quickly and effectively than could the Board of Morningside Heights Inc. to complete real estate transactions. Remedco became instrumental in organizational efforts to rid the neighborhood of single room occupancy buildings, including the Bryn Mawr which was purchased and cleared of tenants in 1964 by Remedco before being sold to Barnard College for institutional use. During its existence Remedco acted on a number of buildings in this manner.
The efforts of Morningside Heights Inc. in the area of public housing were made vastly more effective by the passage of the Federal Housing Act of 1949. The Morningside-Manhattanville neighborhood was selected as a redevelopment area by the Mayor’s Committee on Slum Clearance in 1950, and as part of the redevelopment process Morningside Heights Inc. was authorized to compile and present a long report on redevelopment of the neighborhood. The Morningside Housing Corporation--the company created to build the Morningside Gardens Housing Development under Title I--was founded within Morningside Heights Inc. in 1952, but immediately became an independent entity sharing executive membership with the organization. Morningside Gardens was opened in 1958. The design, demolition, and construction were carried out by the Morningside Housing Corporation, while Morningside Heights Inc. assisted in financing the project through Remedco and contributed to design and public relations through their persistent mission of information-gathering and distribution.
The organization’s work with redevelopment and renewal projects was again stimulated in 1960 when the city applied for a federal planning grant from the Housing and Home Finance Agency to create a General Neighborhood Renewal Plan (GNRP) for the area bounded by 100th and 125th streets and 8th Ave and the Hudson River, and to fund construction and the other costs of carrying out the plan. As part of this area, Morningside Heights Inc. was in a position to offer assistance to the GNRP effort. Assistance included preparing a public relations plan to stimulate interest in the project and offering secretarial and other services to the bodies created by the GNRP--mainly the Morningside Renewal Council. The Council, which was created by the City Housing and Redevelopment Board to advise it during the GNRP project, was composed of representatives from different institutions and community groups with a stake in the project, including Morningside Heights Inc. Ultimately the GNRP would lead to some conflict between the City and Morningside Heights Inc. due to the limitations of institutional expansion under the plan, which some institutions, and especially Columbia University, deemed unconstitutional. During the existence of the Morningside Renewal Council, and especially during the tense periods in the late 1960s and early 1970s there would be an air of conflict in the Council proceedings and the interactions between Morningside Heights Inc, the bodies of the City, and the citizen and neighborhood groups of the area.
The next largest area of Morningside Heights Inc. work was aid to public schools and programs for Morningside youth. The organization funded a music program in PS 125 and PS 165 from 1954-1958, and advocated for years on behalf of the effort to build another elementary school in Morningside Heights. PS 36, which had been proposed at least ten years earlier as PS 62, was eventually built in 1966 on Morningside Drive. The organization's strong push for a new elementary school was partially based in the findings of the Morningside Manhattanville Redevelopment study, which recommended additional education facilities for the neighborhood where they were currently lacking.
Throughout its existence Morningside Heights Inc. worked to revitalize organized extracurricular youth activities in the neighborhood as part of a program intended to minimize the perceived causes of juvenile crime. In 1954 the organization began funding the Cathedral Summer Day Camp at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and the Morningside Basketball league, which would continue under the Adult Youth Association when it was founded in 1958. The Stone Gym Youth Center was founded for similar purposes--a process which stretched from 1960 to 1962--and was aided by Morningside Heights Inc. but largely operated by the youth themselves. In 1977 the organization—now known as Morningside Area Alliance after a 1972 reorganization and name change recommended by internal committee—began sponsoring the Morningside Summer Streets Program which offered activities and day trips for kids in the neighborhood.
Morningside Heights Inc. would continue its work against neighborhood crime on another front through direct action by the committee on Public Safety and the programs that came out of it. In 1961 Morningside Heights Inc. began running a street patrol of hired security guards manning posts and walking beats throughout the neighborhood. The name was changed to the “Community Patrol” in 1969 and the program has continued through the present day. Throughout the 1970s and the early 1980s, in response to a perceived increase in street crime, the Alliance carried out the “Operation Alliance” initiative which included an increased street presence, flyers and posters aimed at educating the public about crime, and services to escort vulnerable citizens and work directly with “problem” youth.
Much of the major work of Morningside Heights Inc./Morningside Area Alliance has been through the reports released to engage with the organization’s planning as well as information-gathering and distribution mission. The organization released a large number of reports, plans, and studies of varying size and length, but some of the larger and most notable are the Morningside Manhattanville Redevelopment Report (1951), the Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill Report on Morningside Heights (1958), the Morningside Heights Core Area Study (1968), and the statistical and economic studies compiled by consultant Chester Rapkin (1951 as part of the Morningside Manhattanville Redevelopment Report, and 1970). The findings of these documents reflect much of the major work carried out by the organization, especially in the earlier part of its existence.
The organization has also gone through many changes in membership due to inevitable shifting of institutions to and from the area. Starting with the fourteen original members, Corpus Christi Church withdrew from participation in Morningside Heights Inc. in 1959 and then rejoined in 1961. The Interchurch Center joined in 1960 after moving to Morningside Heights, as did Bank Street College of Education in 1968 and the Manhattan School of Music in 1969. St Hilda’s and St Hugh’s School joined in 1962. The Juilliard School withdrew from Morningside Heights Inc. in 1969 when it moved to the newly-constructed Lincoln Center.