Walking Tours of the Bronx Grand Concourse

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WITH RESTORATION PLANS rolling for the Grand Concourse, a Bronx museum is taking a detour down the boulevard's memory lane. On Wednesday, the Bronx Museum of the Arts will begin a series of walking tours, workshops and talks about the street's striking architecture and storied past, along with updates on its future.

"It is gorgeous," said Lloyd Ultan, the Bronx borough historian. "The elegance still comes through. All it needs is a little spruceup."

The thoroughfare, completed in 1909, is home to the largest collection of Art Deco residences in the world and, for many decades, was the Bronx equivalent of Park Ave.

In the 1970s and 1980s - the Bronx's rough years - the Concourse fell on hard times. The wide, landscaped medians were narrowed, exit signs were added and the street was transformed into a pedestrian-unfriendly highway.

In the last decade, community leaders and politicians have taken steps to return some of the Concourse's lost grandeur.

At the opening reception on Wednesday, Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion will outline an $18 million restoration project to improve the lighting and widen the median on the Concourse between 161st and 171st Sts.
The event, which is free, begins at 6:00 p.m. at the museum, 1040 Grand Concourse, at 165th St.

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