The home of the Yankees, the Bronx Zoo; and the Grand Concourse, the Bronx was once a haven for upwardly mobile second-generation immigrants eager to leave crowded Manhattan tenements. It was hailed as a wonder borough of homes, parks, and universities. But during the 1960s and 1970s, neighborhoods that had held generations of Bronx families disappeared under waves of arson, crime, and housing abandonment, with solid blocks of brick apartment buildings turning into rubble-filled empty acres. This is the inspirational history of the New York City borough that has made a complete revolution - from the home of the American dream to the last place on earth and back again (the Bronx was named an All-America City in 1997 by the National Civic League). status as a densely populated home for New York's growing and increasingly more heterogeneous Hispanic and African American population, this book shows how the borough developed within New York City's orbit and interacted with the city as it grew from the tip of Manhattan to a five-borough metropolis. Along the way, Evelyn Gonzalez reveals how the decline and rapid racial change that affected the Bronx during the urban crisis of the 1960s and 1970s were connected to the economic transactious, political decisions, and human choices that created the borough in the first place.
The Bronx County Historical Society was founded in 1955 to preserve the heritage of this thriving community. The Society administers the colonial era Valentine-Varian House, which serves as the Museum of Bronx History; The Bronx County Archives; an extensive Research Library; and Poe Cottage, the final home of America's great 19th century poet and author, Edgar Allan Poe. Both historic houses are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.