Endangered Buildings Initiative

Mount Morris Bank Building

Mount Morris Bank Building
Mount Morris Bank Building

81-85 East 125th St, Manhattan


This imposing red-brick structure occupies a prominent site at the intersection of Park Avenue and East 125th Street in Harlem. It is especially visible from the many Metro North trains which stop each day at the adjacent elevated station platforms. At present, it is not a becoming gateway to Upper Manhattan.

For decades, this City-owned landmark building has been vacant and vandalized, while also suffering two major fires. It is in extremely deteriorated condition; only the exterior walls can be saved and reused. All other features must be replicated from readily-available authentic documentation.

A community-based development group has ambitious plans to preserve, restore, and reuse the Mount Morris Bank Building for market-rate retail and office uses, along with a non-profit culinary arts school. This group purchased the building from the N.Y.C. Development Corporation in 2002. It also obtained the approval of the City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission of the architectural aspects of the proposal. However, it has not yet secured the financing necessary to complete what is a complex and costly construction project.

Neighborhood: Harlem 125th Street
Building use type: Commercial
Condition: Ruinous
Architect/Builder: Lamb & Rich
Year built: 1883-1884
Style: Romanesque Revival
Predominant materials: Masonry
NYC Designation Status: Landmark
National Designation Status: Listed
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