Past Amsterdam Avenue, 125th Street reverts to a village, reminding one of the the days of Nieuw Haarlem, the farming village established by Dutch colonisers in 1658, and occupied by the British very shortly in 1664.
Spiritually, this section of the street is rich, with half a dozen churches dotting a very short stretch, and the presence of the Harlem Commonwealth Council, a start-up fund supporting businesses and economic development in Harlem.
The highlight of this section is St Joseph of the Holy Family, the oldest church in Harlem, established in 1860 to serve a German Catholic diocese. A beautiful, red-brick building in a simple Romanesque style, it again channels the days when Harlem was a rural community, with green pastures in place of crowded streets. The only spot of greenery here today, however, is the small patch of urban parkland located in a tiny triangular “square” called Hancock Place. Around it, Harlemites and visitors go about their daily lives, oblivious to the history around them.