The prettiest block in the South Bronx

The first Bronx subway stop on the 6 train from Manhattan leaves you a block from 138th Street and Alexander Avenue. Once known as “Doctors Row” and “The Irish Fifth Avenue,” Alexander Avenue between here and 141st Street boasts gorgeous row houses dating to the 1870s. 

If you swoon over original details and don’t mind living sandwiched between a couple of housing projects, this could be the block for you.

Though now considered part of the catch-all South Bronx, the neighborhood is in the tiny Mott Haven Historic District. Once a thriving community dominated by Mott Ironworks and piano factories, Mott Haven fell victim to the usual urban blight in the 1960s and 1970s.

In the 1990s, antique shops, lofts, and a couple of cafes on nearby Bruckner Boulevard have helped revive the area. It feels pretty safe, yet reports of the neighborhood’s Soho-fication are, well, premature. Luckily, remnants of old Mott Haven still remain, like this piano ad.

Check out the brick sign on the old Mott Ironworks building, on the Harlem River. J. L. Mott is Jordan Mott, an industrialist who bought the land from the Morris (as in Morrisania) family in 1828.

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14 Responses to “The prettiest block in the South Bronx”

  1. Queen Anne beauty in the South Bronx « Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] Mott Haven has more to offer, like its own historic district and some gorgeous blocks along Alexander Avenue. Check them out here. […]

  2. NY2TX93 Says:

    Unbelievably beautiful area in the South Bronx! Thanks for showing the good that still exists there.

  3. The homes of Harlem’s Doctors Row « Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] Doctors’ Row—well, at least the brownstones, if not the doctors—still exists in the South […]

  4. mick cab Says:

    it is a great area. My grandma immigrated to the states in the 1960s and has lived in the Bronx ever since. I just hope this area has not been invaded by hipsters and wannabe manhattanites like its has happened in Harlem.

  5. STACEY Says:


  6. The landmarked rowhouses of a gritty Bronx enclave | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] Here’s another beautiful stretch of Bronx rowhouses, kept up well with Romanesque detailing and stained glass windows. […]

  7. Roslyn Gilbert Greenberg Says:

    I was born at Bronx Hospital lived at 581 East 137th Street, near Willis and Cypress Avenues for the first 7 years of my life.

  8. Marty Spatz Says:

    During a recent visit from my home in CA to The Bronx where i was born and lived until 1978, I was just on Alexander Ave at a 5-Star sushi restaurant called CeeTay. Food is great as mentioned by many reviews and by friends in NYC. “Go South Bronx!” May it continue to grow stronger.

  9. Princess Says:

    My parents lived across from these beautiful Row Houses on Alexander Ave for many years.. Wow what memories

  10. thousandsofstories74 Says:

    I honestly disagree! I was around there and I found this beautiful town houses. Please go check E 167th St Grant Ave on google maps. It’s where they have the orange and green houses.

  11. Diary of a New York City Marathon, Now With a Finishing Kick - Oncowire Says:

    […] turns left. Ahead on Alexander are beautiful rowhouses at the start of a stretch once known as Doctors’ Row. The Mott Haven Historical District begins on the next block. To the right is the attractive St. […]

  12. Diary of a New York Metropolis Marathon, Now With a Ending Kick – Sport u Sport Says:

    […] turns left. Forward on Alexander are lovely rowhouses at first of a stretch as soon as often called Doctors’ Row. The Mott Haven Historic District begins on the following block. To the correct is the enticing St. […]

  13. The last days of a Victorian mansion in Harlem | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] was a descendant of the Mott Haven Motts; a prominent businessman who ran his family’s Bronx-based iron […]

  14. The story of how the Bronx got its name | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] from local Native Americans (or from Dutch leaders; sources differ) in today’s Morrisania or Mott Haven neighborhood, on the other side of the Harlem River. He cleared the land and built a stone house “covered […]

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