Main | Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Morning View - Studebaker Factory

The old Studebaker factory on 131st Street in the Manhattanville section of West Harlem near the Hudson River is part of a 17-acre parcel where Columbia University is planning a massive 25-year expansion project. Most of the buildings in the 4-block area along the Riverside Drive Viaduct will be demolished, but three will be preserved, including including the Studebaker site, where Columbia will relocate its administrative offices.

Neighborhood activists have long campaigned against the expansion, with some saying that they welcome Columbia's march northward and the jobs it would bring to a blighted neighborhood, but objecting to the means, eminent domain, and the design, which includes 25-story glass towers. Others predict a mass displacement of Manhattanville's low income residents. Although only 400 people live in the buildings to be razed, the area around the new campus will skyrocket in value. And what is now one of the last low-rise industrial spaces on the island will doubtlessly become another cookie-cutter nabe of Starbucks and sushi bars.


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