Site Plan

"A novel kind of public housing" / Completion 1986

Located in the South Bronx, this 1929 abandoned tenement building has been successfully transformed into a new home for 59 low-income families and ground floor retail spaces.  This was one of two buildings designed in partnership with Shelly Kroop Architect.

The exterior character of the original building has been preserved, but the interiors have been transformed to create a new building for handicapped accessibility and enhanced security.  The design elements include 1) a new circulation system with lobby and elevator core at the former passageway to the courtyard, fireproof public halls, and exit stairs;  2) a landscaped courtyard for residents only;  3) new apartments oriented to the building exterior; and 4) replacement of fire escapes with "escape balconies" permitted by the "new building code". The design received recognition through a 1981 AIA New York Chapter Residential Design Citation, the 1989 Affordable Housing Exhibition at the Urban Center, and in publications.  The New York Times described it as:

"A Novel Kind of Public Housing....With their balconies and somewhat Art Deco look, the two apartment buildings whose refurbishing has been designed by Shelly Kroop and James McCullar Architects could be intended for middle or even upper income tenants.  But until these two
buildings are in the South Bronx and until their reconstruction began recently they were abandoned and decaying."