LOwer East Side

Lower_East_Side   Site
Typical 50-ft Module Plan Garden of Eden alternative Community sculpture garden

Low-rise public housing / Completed in 1988

Home for 117 families and a community center, this example of the firm's early public housing work consists of four-story rowhouse “modules” with 9 families per entrance.  Flats are located on the first two floors and duplex units with 3rd floor living areas are located at the upper floors. The first floor stair hall extends to the rear yards for access to common outdoor space for each resident. Consideration was given to incorporating Adam Purple's iconic "Garden of Eden", a squatter on city owned land, but was not permitted by the city’s site acquisition process. The developer /design team was selected through a competitive turnkey process based on HUD guidelines and cost limits, which dictated in a minimal design approach. The modular design, which required reconsiderations from the Department of Buildings, became a model for the 4-story walk-up concept incorporated in the 2008 NYC Building Code. In an article on affordable housing in City Limits, May 2001, Avi Mermelstein wrote

 “McCullar designed the four-story brick walk-ups to blend in with the neighborhood’s original tenement buildings. He wanted to create the kind of neighborhood where people could afford to live: the village that urbanist Jane Jacobs envisioned, where every tenant would know his neighbors, and their 'eyes on the street' would keep each other safe.”