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Morningside Gardens

Morningside Gardens

Morningside Gardens refers to a private housing cooperative called Morningside Heights Housing Corporation (MHHC) in the borough of Manhattan, New York City. It is composed of a parking garage and six apartment buildings of 21 stories each, for a total of about 980 apartments. MHHC rents space to the Children's Learning Center preschool and the Morningside Retirement and Health Service. The complex has many amenities for its cooperators including a playground, a fitness center, storage units, indoor play spaces for children and young adults, bike rooms, and a workshop including ceramics and woodworking.[1]

The complex is located just north of the campuses of Columbia University, Barnard College and Jewish Theological Seminary, and just east of the campuses of Manhattan School of Music and Union Theological Seminary in the northern section of Morningside Heights. It is bordered by Broadway on the west, Amsterdam Avenue on the east, 123rd Street on the south, and La Salle Street on the north.[2]



The facility was one of the first owner-occupied co-ops in NYC, with the initial construction subsidized by New York City. The early development of the project, led by a team of civic leaders headed by philanthropist David Rockefeller and Columbia University president Grayson Kirk, later formed the basis of the Mitchell-Lama law, which led to many similar co-operative housing facilities, most in NYC and a small number in the local suburbs.[3] Morningside Gardens, which replaced a slum area, was created primarily for middle-income families.[4]

When the complex opened in 1957, one-third of the first residents were employees of the prominent educational institutions in the neighborhood, and of the National Council of Churches and other religious organizations located in the nearby Interchurch Center.[4] One objective of Morningside Gardens was to create a racially integrated community. When the complex opened in 1957, the population was 75% white, 20% black, 4% Asian, and 1% Puerto Rican.[5]

Today Morningside Gardens is managed by an elected eleven member board of directors. MHHC contracts with FirstService Residential to provide property management services for the complex.[6] There is a small security force that has helped the Gardens to experience a very low crime rate.[citation needed] For most of its existence, the By-Laws set a maximum resale price for those selling their apartments; this changed somewhat in 2006, when the co-op voted to allow residents to sell their units at a progressive yearly increase designed to top out at 80% of market value, or three times the previous maximum sale price per apartment. In 2015 Morningside's bylaws adopted changes which eliminate entirely Maximum Resale Prices and allow sales on the Open Market.[citation needed]

In June 2013, Morningside Gardens partnered with the New York City Department of Sanitation on a pilot project to compost its food waste.[7] This pilot program was highlighted on NPR's The Brian Lehrer Show on March 12, 2014.[8]

Notable residentsEdit

  • Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court justice, lived in Morningside Gardens. The Thurgood Marshall Room in 80 LaSalle Street is named after him.[9]
  • Robert L. Carter, lawyer and civil rights activist who presented part of the oral arguments in Brown v. Board of Education, was a resident of Morningside Gardens.
  • Fiona Apple, singer-songwriter, lived here as a child.[10]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-03-25. Retrieved 2014-03-25.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Directions | Morningside Heights Housing Corporation". Retrieved 2016-12-18.
  3. ^ "Board Disharmony: Morningside Gardens | Habitat Magazine". Retrieved 2016-12-18.
  4. ^ a b "Layout 1" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-12-18.
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ "Management | Morningside Heights Housing Corporation". Retrieved 2016-12-18.
  7. ^ "Morningside Volunteers Distribute Sure-Close Containers, June, 2013 » Morningside Gardens Compost Club". 2013-06-24. Retrieved 2016-12-18.
  8. ^ "Composting Expands - The Brian Lehrer Show". WNYC. 2014-03-12. Retrieved 2016-12-18.
  9. ^ "Famous Morningside Heights Residents (At One Time Or Another)". Retrieved 2012-10-25.
  10. ^ Johnson, Carolyn D. Harlem Travel Guide. p. 94.

External linksEdit