Black Seneca Village Destroyed for Central Park
Seneca Village began in 1825 with the purchase of land by a trustee of AME Zion Church. Following his purchase, this African-American community grew steadily and was later supplemented by Irish immigrants moving to the area. Both populations were marginalized and faced similar discrimination throughout the city. Remarkably, despite their social and racial conflicts elsewhere, the Irish and African-Americans in Seneca Village chose to live in close proximity to each other.
The African-American inhabitants were also quite unique for the time. Their high rates of land ownership, voting and education suggest that Seneca Village was part of the black middle class.