126th Street Bus Depot Project

Project Summary: The city block formerly occupied by the MTA’s 126th Street Bus Depot in East Harlem includes an area that was once an African burial ground, dating back to the original Dutch settlement of Nieuw Haarlem in the 17th century. The burial ground was located on the southeastern portion of the 2.7-acre bus depot site, which covers a full city block (see map below). The 126th Street Harlem African Burial Ground Memorial and Mixed-Use Project is a unique initiative to preserve this essential piece of the city’s history, while simultaneously addressing needs expressed by the East Harlem community.

At the heart of the project is the creation of a living memorial and cultural center that will explain the historical significance of the Harlem African Burial Ground and honor those who were buried there. The project will also include a mixed-use development component with affordable housing, job-creating commercial uses, and community space that supports the East Harlem community.

NYCEDC has worked in partnership with the Harlem African Burial Ground Task Force and Council Member Diana Ayala on a robust, community-based planning process for the redevelopment of the Bus Depot site. The Harlem African Burial Ground Task Force (HABGTF) and Bus Depot Task Force (BDTF) were formed to bring community stakeholders together to determine appropriate uses that would complement the memorial and cultural center.

Land Use Actions

MOS- Comments on 126th Bus Depot Draft Scope of Work

Presentation to CB11 Land Use Committee on May 11, 2016


Rezoning a Block in Harlem, Respecting an African Burial Ground – New York Times, September 26, 2017

African Burial Ground Project Will Have Some Units for Extremely Low-Income Families – City Limits, March 9, 2017

For more information about the project site and its history, please visit the following websites:

NYC Economic Development Corporation website

Operator for the Harlem African Burial Ground Memorial & Cultural Center RFEI (deadline: 4:00 pm on April 30, 2020)

Harlem African Burial Ground Task Force