Here’s a piece from the West Side Rag about the mini-neighborhood was the area now occupied by Park West Village Village.

From about 1905 until the 1950s, West 98th and 99th Streets constituted a vibrant, predominantly African-American community that was something of a miniature Harlem, with its own Renaissance. The Times wrote about it here.

Philip A. Payton Jr., a real estate entrepreneur who wanted to end housing segregation, owned or managed most of the buildings on those blocks. The singer Billie Holiday lived there for a time, as did Arthur A. Schomburg, the historian and writer whose collection of art, manuscripts and photographs became the foundation for the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Other residents included the author Rosa Guy and the actor Robert Earl Jones, the father of James Earl Jones. The actress Butterfly McQueen lived there for a time, and later in Park West Village.

Robert Moses had the neighborhood razed in the 1950’s and Park West Village was built in the 1960’s. Jim Epstein produced a documentary about the area, which you can view below.