A year ago, a gas line ruptured in the Spanish Harlem neighborhood in Manhattan, destroying two buildings and killing several people. A single lane of traffic away is the elevated tracks for the Metro North trains, a commuter line that follows the Hudson River north of the city. Directly under those tracks and also just a single lane of traffic away from where the blast occurred is Urban Garden Center.
I visited the garden center as it was still gearing up for the spring season and still recovering from being all but wiped out. Urban Garden Center is rebuilding in part from funds from the neighborhood, and it’s clear why the community felt invested in this city neighborhood garden center.
Take a look at how that transformation is taking place.
Until just a few months ago, the garden center operated without electricity. It still operates without plumbing – it has to bring in its own water in tanks to take care of plants. The business lays claim to two sections of the land beneath the tracks, stretching two blocks. One section is a staging and storage area. Since electricity is only in the public store area, however, much of the heavy work requiring saws and drills was being done behind tarps along side the sales area.