Harlem‘s historic Mother Clara Hale Bus Depot used to be a nuisance for neighborhood residents before it was demolished five years ago, but now it’s back and better than ever. The renovated building, which dates back to 1890 when it was used as a trolley barn, was recently born again as an eco-friendly bus hub. Boasting a massive 65,000-square-foot green roof and a busload of other environmental-friendly features, the re-opening of the local landmark was a proud green moment for the local community.
The MTA inaugurated the newly renovated building last week, sharing the celebratory spotlight with community-led groups that supported and participated in the project’s process such as the Harlem-based advocacy group WEACT. The advocacy group was integrally involved in the project’s numerous green features, including its green roof.
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According to the MTA, the three-story building is one of the most environmentally-friendly depots in the city and even in the country. Built with recycled materials and meeting LEED certification criteria, the renovated building is equipped with a colossal planted roof that cools the facility as it absorbs CO2 from the air and reduces storm water runoff. The building also enjoys optimal energy efficiency thanks to thermal insulation, a solar wall, Heat Recovery Units and a white roof among other energy-efficient features.
“It’s one of the most environmentally friendly facilities we’ve ever built, with state-of-the-art bus maintenance equipment that will go a long way toward enhancing service while minimizing our footprint on the surrounding community,” MTA Chairman Prendergast said.
Four Manhattan lines and 120 buses will operate from the hub once it’s fully operational in January.