NYC Neighborhoods, 24 Frames per Second
Lower East Side Heritage Film Series, Season 2, Part 3 — Mascot Flats
It is the beginning of a new calendar year.
A time for reflection.
A time for resolution.
A time for hope.
In this next installment of the Lower East Side Heritage Film Series, we celebrate and reflect on the rebirth of a derelict East Sixth Street tenement building in Alphabet City. Producer and director Josephine Hayes Dean documents the toils and tribulations of its future residents into something that would become a home for their hopes and dreams.
Issues of housing, homelessness, and community development are intermeshed in this film documenting the efforts of New York City homesteaders in transforming Mascot Flats, an 85-year-old abandoned building, into cooperative apartments. The urban pioneers were aided in their endeavors by Habitat for Humanity, a Georgia-based group dedicated to building housing worldwide. Habitat's most famous members, Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter, arrived via bus with other volunteers to help renovate the tenement. Hopeful residents describe their experiences being homeless or near homeless and reveal the satisfaction, as well as the frustrations, involved in a "sweat equity" enterprise. Completion of the Mascot Flats project was alternately helped and hampered by the expectations of Habitat and delayed due to lack of funds and building code violations. However, in November 1986, three years after renovation began, 19 families moved into the rehabilitated building.
The Rebuilding of Mascot Flats courtesy of the Reserve Film and Video Collection of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.
This is a FREE monthly series held at Seward Park Library. Documentary and feature films (both 16mm and DVD) shot on location in lower Manhattan are presented the first Tuesday of every month.
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