The first ever presidential visit to the South Bronx took America’s chief executive to a multi-unit cooperative, a radical break from the nation’s housing norms that became a symbol of hope during the depths of the urban crisis.
In October 1977, Jimmy Carter’s cream-colored limousine rolled into the devastation of the South Bronx. Escorted by six motorcycles and three helicopters, the trip had been kept secret until the last possible moment. There were two stops on the tour. At one, Carter saw a ghost block where every building had been leveled, confirming the nightmarish popular image of this section of New York City.
The other stop was something else entirely. The president was driven to a multistory apartment building at 1186 Washington Ave., where tenants had taken control after the landlord walked away.Continue reading