New York City: South Bronx Squats Evicted

672 and 674 are the last two buildings left standing on 136th Street in the South Bronx. All the other buildings were leveled to “make room” for Robert Moses’ Bruckner Expressway. Allowed to become derelict, and then abandoned completely by their owner in the mid-1970s, these two buildings were taken over by a core group of tenants and urban homesteaders, who transformed it into the oasis known as ‘Casa Del Sol’ (House of the Sun). In 1985, New York City’s Department of Housing Development and Preservation declined to serve the residents of Casa Del Sol with an eviction order on the grounds that the residents had gained adverse possession of the buildings. Over the next decade, Casa Del Sol — in addition to providing affordable housing for over 50 low-income individuals and families — grew to become the home base for the Cherry Tree Association, the Casa Del Sol Spirituality Center, the Blackout Books Zine Library (since moved to ABC No Rio), and the United We Stand Garden. [Read More]