Miracle on 42nd Street
MIRACLE ON 42ND STREET is a feature length documentary about the unique apartment complex called Manhattan Plaza located in Manhattan’s historic theatre district, a neighborhood also known as Hell’s Kitchen. Located on the block between 42nd and 43rd Streets, it is often called the “Miracle on 42nd Street” due to the near-miraculous effect the complex has had on the once-blighted neighborhood and on the lives of its residents. Seventy percent of the occupants work in the performing arts and thirty percent are Hell’s Kitchen residents who are elderly, disabled or have been relocated from substandard housing.
The film tells the story of how this innovative affordable housing experiment came to be, the artists it has nurtured, the close community its residents and management have created and the positive impact it has had on the economy of Manhattan’s West Side. The filmmakers, several of whom are current and former residents, are passionate about sharing the story of Manhattan Plaza with the world. It is a unique model of what can be achieved by bringing together over 3,500 people from differing cultural, ethnic and economic backgrounds.
The film is intended for festival release and to air on television. We hope that by making this film, the example of Manhattan Plaza will inspire new ways of thinking about affordable housing in cities around the globe. We believe that Manhattan Plaza’s success was brought about by the creative community it housed, people whose dreams and goals might not have been realized had it not been for the opportunity of living in Manhattan Plaza. People like Broadway composer Alan Menken, Terrence Howard, Alicia Keys, Tennessee Williams, Marin Alsop (groundbreaking female orchestra conductor), Dexter Gordon, Larry David, Charles Mingus, Mickey Rourke, Andrea McArdle (Broadway’s first Annie) and Sandy, her dog. Samuel L. Jackson worked there as a security guard in his first and only non-acting job. By making this film, we want to tell the story of the pioneering people, community leaders, government and business people who joined together to resurrect a blighted neighborhood. We have dedicated ourselves to spreading awareness about the “miracle” of Manhattan Plaza.