Randolph Houses Phase 1 And Residences at PS 186 Tn Harlem To Receive New York Landmarking

The New York Landmarks Conservancy has announced the winners of the 2017 Lucy G. Moses Preservation Awards. The Randolph Houses Phase 1 and Residences at PS 186 in Harlem are among the projects that will be recognized at the May 11, 2017 Ceremony at The New York Public Library in Manhattan.

The Lucy G. Moses Preservation Awards are the Conservancy’s highest honors for excellence in preservation.  The coveted awards are named for Lucy G. Moses, a dedicated New Yorker whose generosity benefited the City for more than 50 years. The Awards recognize individual leadership and extraordinary preservation work.  This work provides jobs, promotes tourism, maintains beloved institutions and protects the character of the City.  The Conservancy is grateful for the support of the Henry and Lucy Moses Fund, which makes the Awards possible.

“The Lucy G. Moses Preservation Awards are a joyous celebration of the broad range of preservation projects in New York each year.  They spotlight the City’s history and culture, as well as the economic vitality preservation provides,” said Peg Breen, President of The New York Landmarks Conservancy.

Randolph Houses Phase I in Harlem

A 2017 Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award honors the Randolph Houses Phase I located at 212 – 252 West 114th Street in Manhattan.  There has been a remarkable turnaround at the Randolph Houses, where the first phase of a plan to rehabilitate 36 late-19th century tenements is complete.  In the 1960s, the NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA) combined the Renaissance-revival style buildings and redeveloped them as public housing, naming them for A. Philip Randolph, leader of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters.  Over the following decades, they fell into significant disrepair.  The facades were stripped of ornament, patched haphazardly, and painted gray and pink, while the interiors deteriorated. 

By the early 2000s, they were emptied and slated for demolition, but following listing on the National Register of Historic Places, New York City issued an RFP for redevelopment as affordable housing.  Trinity Financial, Inc. won the bid and co-sponsored the project with West Harlem Group Assistance and NYCHA.  The project combined state and federal historic preservation tax credits with capital funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, low income housing tax credits, tax-exempt bond financing provided by the NYC Housing Development Corporation as well as additional subsidy provided by the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development. It serves as a model for the preservation and adaptive reuse of historic buildings for affordable housing.

SLCE Architects, LLP, with preservation consultants Higgins Quasebarth & Partners, LLC, designed and oversaw a transformative restoration of the streetscape and gut-level rehabilitation of the apartments.  The historic facades now feature repaired brownstone, limestone, and brick, new cast-iron window surrounds, new windows and doors.  Existing cornices were repaired and new ones installed where they had long been missing.  Shabby interiors were gut-renovated and converted into 168 units of affordable and public housing, along with community spaces.

Residences at PS 186 in Harlem

A 2017 Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award honors the Residences at PS 186, located at 521 West 145th Street in Harlem.  After decades of deterioration and ruin, this elegant school building has been reborn as the Residences at PS 186.  Architect C.B.J. Snyder, Superintendent of School Buildings for the New York City Board of Education, designed the building in the Italian Renaissance Revival style in 1903.  For years, it was a centerpiece of its Hamilton Heights community, but after the school closed in the 1970s, a series of ambitious plans failed, and the building was left in perilous limbo, a cause of concern to its neighbors and the preservation community.

 A complex financing arrangement, including preservation tax credits, has returned the building to its place of pride. Dattner Architects developed the plan to restore the deteriorated exterior and adapt the battered interior for new apartments. The brick and terra cotta facade is restored with new windows and doors that replicate the original. Snyder’s H-plan interior with its high ceilings, ornamental stair cases, and wood trim, now holds 79 light-filled, subsidized housing units and community space for one of the co-sponsors, the Boys and Girls Club of Harlem.  Contemporary insertions with glass and chrome accents complement the historic building, and a restored decorative ironwork fence graces the courtyard entrances, welcoming residents to their new home.

Monadnock Construction, the Boys & Girls Club of Harlem, and Alembic Community Development co-sponsored and developed the project with financing from the Low Income Rental Program (LIRP) and the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

 New York Landmarks Conservancy

The 2017 Lucy G. Moses Preservation Awards project recipients also include: 5 Beekman Hotel and Residences; Cartier Fifth Avenue Mansion; Lenox Health Greenwich Village; Met Breuer; The New York Public Library Rose Reading Room & Bill Blass Catalog Room and Gottesman Hall; Park Avenue Armory; St. Thomas Church and Parish House; South Street Seaport Museum’s Wavertree, and Ziehl/Starr Residence.  Ruth Pierpont, former Director of the New York State Historic Preservation Office, will receive the Preservation Leadership Award given to an outstanding individual in the field of historic preservation. Preservation Public Leadership Awards will be presented to The Honorable Gale Brewer, Manhattan Borough President, and The Honorable Daniel R. Garodnick, New York City Council Member, 4th District, and The Episcopal Diocese of New York Property Support Program will receive the Preservation Organization Award.

The New York Landmarks Conservancy has led the effort to preserve and protect New York City’s architectural legacy for over 40 years.  Since its founding, the Conservancy has loaned and granted more than $50 million, which has leveraged more than $1 billion in 1,550 restoration projects throughout New York, revitalizing communities, providing economic stimulus and supporting local jobs.  The Conservancy has also offered countless hours of pro bono technical advice to building owners, both nonprofit organizations and individuals.  The Conservancy’s work has saved more than a thousand buildings across the City and State, protecting New York’s distinctive architectural heritage for residents and visitors alike today, and for future generations.  For more information, please visit www.nylandmarks.org.

Photo Credit 1) Randolph Houses Phase 1, Photo Credit: Bernstein Associates, Photographers. 2) Residences at PS 186, Photo Credit: David Sundberg/ESTO Courtesy of Dattner Architects.

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