In 1967, Seward Park Urban Renewal Area tenants were removed from their homes to make way for a supposed massive urban renewal project. Instead, the site remained vacant for decades. 50 years later, a decades-old promise to revitalize an important corner of Manhattan’s Lower East Side (LES) was realized.
This past January, Dattner Architects joined Delancey Street Associates, city officials, members of the development team, and former Seward Park Urban Renewal Area tenants for a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of 175 Delancey Street, the first of nine buildings to be completed within Essex Crossing – one of New York City’s largest housing developments.
This Dattner Architects-designed 15-story, mixed-use building is comprised of 100 units of affordable senior housing. With integrated ground floor retail, a health clinic, and a community facility, 175 Delancey offers vital community services and increased access to food, healthcare, and amenities. The Francis Goldin Apartments – named after longtime LES housing activist, Frances Goldin – are oriented so that residents may enjoy southern exposures and expansive views of the Manhattan skyline with rooftop gardens providing beautiful recreational space.
The architecture of 175 Delancey is helping to redefine how people think of affordable senior housing. At the Francis Goldin Apartments, senior housing means warmth, vibrancy, and a welcoming atmosphere. It allows residents to remain independent, while being a part of a community with supportive resources, modern comfort, and practicality.
An on-site senior community center on the fourth floor is operated by Grand Street Settlement (GSS) – a social services institution providing personalized services and resources to advocate, empower, and strengthen communities. The center contains a cafeteria serving hot meals, meeting space, an activity room, roof terrace, and administration space. In addition to operating the community center, GSS also operates the GrandLo Café – a coffee shop by day and hip lounge by night. While the GrandLo will be managed professionally, its duel mission is to provide job training for local residents seeking to gain experience in the food service business, while becoming baristas along the way.
Another critical component to 175 Delancey is the NYU Langone Health medical center, designed by Dattner Architects and slated to open this summer. The new state-of-the-art facility will include programs encompassing physical therapy and ambulatory surgery. Easy access to healthcare amenities gives residents a sense of security knowing that there are professionals nearby who can help in their time of need.
The essence of 175 Delancey lies in its beauty and balance – both in aesthetics and its sensible functionality. Although its impact cannot be measured, as New York City continues to struggle with increasing housing costs, we are proud our project will help make a difference and that our work takes part in fighting this on-going battle by designing mixed-use affordable housing that creates stability and affords opportunity.