The Residences at PS 186Volver a la lista de Proyectos
- New York
- Boys & Girls Club of Harlem, Alembic Community Development, Monadnock Construction
The transformation of a crumbling, former public school into an apartment building for low and middle-income New Yorkers and a new Boys and Girls Club was decades in the making. Vacated by the public school system in the late 1970s, and purchased by the Boys and Girls Club of Harlem in the 1980s, Dattner Architects restored the five-story building after 40 years of neglect and converted it into affordable housing and a community facility.
PS 186 was designed by architect C.B.J. Snyder, Superintendent of School Buildings for the New York City Board of Education, and completed in 1903. Despite its deteriorated condition at the start of the project, as a result of the sensitive adaptive reuse and restoration, the building was approved by the National Parks Service as a historically significant example of early 20th century school architecture. The Residences at PS186 is now included on the National Register of Historic Places and is once-again a neighborhood anchor.
The restored building’s exterior and historic features within, such as ornamental staircases and corridors—add to the charm of the residential space. The residential portion of this mixed-income, mixed-use development offers a variety of apartment layouts, each configured within the footprint of the original.
As a tribute to the building’s original use, the former primary student entrance is now the BGCH’s main entrance. The design team’s concepts highlight historic features of the original building and weave in modern elements that embody the culture of the neighborhood. Historic corridors offer a sense of the building’s past, contrasted by modern insertions, animating the space. Materials and light convey a warm and inviting environment, and bright, bold furniture accommodates a variety of program uses.