Then and Now: A look at the South Bronx

The South Bronx is known as the place where the Bronx burned.

In this week's Then and Now, News 12 The Bronx's Jenny Mayer takes a look at South Bronx, an area that has gone from farmlands to industry to devastation, but is now on the rise again.

Within the South Bronx are the communities of Mott Haven and Port Morris, whose times of burning buildings, ruble and blight are now just a spot in their long and rich history.

The South Bronx was one of the first areas transformed from farmland to residential and industrial use. The Mott Haven historical district showcases row houses built in the lat 1800's. As factories flourished along the Harlem River, Irish immigrants created a lively community.

Then in the 1960's and 70's economic forces drove landlords to burn or abandon buildings. Gangs riddled the streets, turning the area into a symbol of the problems affecting New York City.

But from the depths of destruction, the area is now safer. New ethnic groups are moving in and businesses are revitalizing abandoned buildings. One of the largest influxes of people into the area is Mexican immigrants. Over the past decade they have opened grocery stores, music stores and restaurants.

Residents in the South Bronx say they are proud for carrying the area up from the ashes.

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