Carol Zakaluk

A third-generation Bronxite born in 1955, Carol Zakaluk has lived most of her life in Mott Haven.  In 1921, her German/Dutch maternal grandparents bought a row house in the now-landmarked Bertine Block Historic District.  Eventually, all four of Carol’s grandparents settled near one another in the neighborhood. The building has stayed in the family for 97 years, has been home to Carol and her husband for more than three decades, and is where Carol raised her daughter. Carol remembers the rise of the Mitchell Housing Projects vividly, as well as the difficult ‘70s and early ‘80s—and also many grassroots efforts to revive the neighborhood.  Her mom, dad, and sister worked locally, teaching public school—and Carol, too, had several jobs in the neighborhood.  She was an ESL teaching aide, then a grant and shop assistant for a sculptor, a co-director for the Haven Arts Gallery, and currently is a building manager for two small brownstones.

You can hear Carol talking about her memories of when the projects were built, and how her grandmother spent her final years as  keen observer of project life, here.