St. Roses Garden
On the southeast corner of Fordham’s campus there lies a little property known as St. Roses Garden. Not many know about it, tucked behind the school's parking garage, St. Roses once acted as a community garden for Fordham students.
It’s light yellow paint displays a warm and welcoming feel to the modest area around it. My friend Emily showed me the place, she defines it as an “Urban Farm and Community Center.” As I walked onto the metal catwalk to get to the garden, I saw wooden planters where people once grew fruit and vegetables.
The top floor of the building acts as office space for some of the Fordham staff, however below the porch I was standing on was a community space that seemed to be untouched in years. Makeshift sustainable inventions, artwork, and a big picnic table where people could gather. This area was protected by the porch above it, no rain here!
Surrounding the community space was lots of areas to grow crops. Pieces of lattice erected from the ground, built planters, and even a large wooden box meant to house beehives. As I walked back from the agricultural area, I saw a door leading into what seemed to be an interesting place. It creaked open and then I saw something incredible. I was just able to make out where the light was... flick, the lights turned on. I had walked in to what seemed to be a once functioning kitchen and simultaneously, a hip hang out space. Old pieces of art all around the room with messages in regards to saving our planet. Fordham hats, Christmas lights, letters and notes left behind for those to see.
I turned and looked at something that made me very happy, an old record player connected to fairly nice speakers with a box of records below it. LP’s from The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Van Morrison, Talking heads, and other great artists/bands filled the box. It took a few minutes to familiarize myself with the machine but once I got it to work I popped on Abbey Road. As “Come Together” played around me in GREAT quality I observed the room.
It was gnarly. A maroon carpet, wood paneling from what seemed to be the 70’s, and a myriad number of items occupied the room. It was a bittersweet feeling being there. I got to see what the physical side of this community once looked like however that community was not present anymore. St. Roses Garden is now unoccupied however if you make your way there one day you’ll find it’s still a hidden gem. Good news though, currently Emily is undertaking a project to make St. Roses a functional, sustainable living space for Fordham students. It’s a lot of work, however I am confident that her hard work will lead to a new community on campus. So, as some communities come to an end, new ones form just as much. Current students have actually started to plant there again and the harvest from this year is looking to be a lucrative one. St. Roses Garden is a special place to be.