History of the West 104th Street Block Association

Sledding in Riverside Park is a favorite winter activity. Here, the Lian girls at play in 1972.

Sledding in Riverside Park is a favorite winter activity. Here, the Lian girls at play in 1972.

The block association was founded in 1970 in reaction to a rising tide of street crime on the block and in the belief that unified neighbors contribute importantly to the quality of life on the block. The block association collected funds from block residents to hire a security guard to patrol the block in the evenings. At the same time, the association developed block beautification and social programs. All three programs continue to this day.

During the 1970s, the City awarded the block association a grant to improve block security. The money was used to heighten backyard fences, install intercoms in various buildings, make lobby doors stronger, and install alarm boxes in the outer lobby of each building. The block association also purchased, planted and now maintains the block’s trees, metal tree guards, and annual floral plantings.

We encourage our block’s landlords to replace their deteriorating sidewalks in the interest of promoting the safety of our residents.

Block association board members serve on the boards of local social service institutions as representatives of the block.



Explore Neighborhood History

From Grid to Grade: An Architectural History of Our Block
Gil Tauber, an urban planner and historian, is co-author of The New York City Handbook and a contributor to the Encyclopedia of New York City. He has conducted walking tours for the West 104th St. Block Association, the Columbus-Amsterdam BID, and other groups. Noreen Whysel created this timeline in Verite’s Timeline JS. See more of Gil’s work at oldstreets.com and Noreen’s at whysel.com.

Humphrey Bogart Place
In 2006, West 103rd Street between Broadway and West End Avenue was given the secondary name Humphrey Bogart Place. Read about the naming ceremony (which was attended by Lauren Bacall) and the campaign by block resident Gary Dennis to make the naming possible. View photos.

Landmark West!
Read about LW!’s effort to landmark the 104th St. Automat. Listen to Mark Foley’s “Automat-ic Pie” song, which was inspired by and recorded in the 104th St. Automat.

New York City Subway System
An unofficial web site on the history of city subway systems around the world. Chock full of info for both the train buff and the City history fan.

Oldstreets.com helps you identify Manhattan locations mentioned in old books, articles, and documents relating to New York City. It contains more than 1,600 old names of streets and other urban features that are no longer on the map. The site was compiled and annotated by block resident, Gil Tauber.