True Colors Residence in the New Yorker

The True Colors Residence was referenced in Rachel Aviv’s “Netherland” article in The New Yorker Magazine, published December 10th, 2012. We are proud to work with West End Residences who does amazing work to support homeless LGBT youth, an underserved group in New York City. “Netherland” follows the story of Samantha, a runaway who found a home at True Colors, and her transition from the streets to permanent housing.

In September, 2011, the state’s first permanent subsidized apartment building for homeless gay, lesbian, and transgender youth opened. The building, called True Colors, was co-founded by Cyndi Lauper, had had been troubled by all the L.G.B.T. teens on the Christopher Street Pier who seemed to have nowhere else to go. Samantha happened to meet a caseworker the day that the building began accepting applications, and was one of the first to apply. Only a few weeks before her housing interview, she had been hired to do outreach work for another youth agency – a paying job. She signed a lease that limited her rent to thirty per cent of her annual income, or two hundred and eighty-six dollars a month.”

With a New Yorker subscription, you can read the entire article here.

Continuing the mission of creating a similar facility in every borough, West End Residences and ESKW/A are moving forward with a True Colors Residence in the Bronx. Check back for updates.

Reflecting on 2012

Happy New Year from all of us at Edelman Sultan Knox Wood / Architects!

As we wrap up 2012, we would like to take a moment to reflect on the year that was. We have many things to be proud of: we launched this blog, completed some amazing projects, commenced construction on some exciting projects, and on a more personal note celebrated Whitney’s retirement, Janine’s move to Boston, and Tatjana’s departure to be with her new baby. All in all, we feel 2012 was a banner year and can’t wait to top it in 2013. Here are some highlights:

JANUARY: ESKW/A launches our Blog

Last year we announced our re-launched website and the ESKW/A blog – a new adventure that has proved to be a solid showcase for details of our projects as well as a way to connect with our architectural community in New York City. Claire’s popular post An Afternoon with Judith Edelman explored the rich history of our firm. We have enjoyed highlighting our work in the office, and recently featured Grace and Daughtry’s efforts at St. Lucy’s Housing. Kimberly continued to act as managing editor even as she welcomed her second child, Luke, into the world. We invite you to follow the ESKW/A blog by clicking the “follow” button at the top of the page.

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FEBRUARY: Whitney Retires

If you’ve called the office in the past year, you’ve noticed a change: Whitney Merritt, our office manager for the past 40 years, has retired. She is no longer here to greet you with her trademark, “EDELMAN SULTAN”. We miss her dearly, thank her for her many years of dedication to the office, and wish her an amazing retirement in South Carolina with her grandsons. Meanwhile, we were pleased to welcome Lauretta da Cruz – the sister of our wonderful comptroller Lucille – as our new office manager.

MARCH: Team works on Prospect Plaza III RFP

PP-tileAndrew, Francisco, Grace, and Claire worked deep in collaboration with Settlement Housing Fund and Briarwood on the Prospect Plaza III RFP for the New York City Housing Authority. The office came together in numerous charrettes, seeking a design solution for this site undergoing revitalization in Brownsville, Brooklyn.

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APRIL: 4380 Bronx Boulevard commences construction + Tatjana leaves

Andrew and Philip are working on an exciting building for Project Renewal. 4380 Bronx Boulevard was formerly used as a manufacturing facility, but is now being converted into a men’s homeless shelter with 108 beds. The design features five torqued skylights which fill the upper floor dormitory space with light and air. The shelter is on track to open this May.

In April, we also said goodbye to Tatjana as she welcomed her second child Kalin into the world and took a break from being full-time architect to be full-time mom. Her work on projects such as 4380 Bronx Boulevard and True Colors Residences is greatly appreciated by the office, and we wish her much happiness and joy with her wonderful little boys.

MAY: The team designs Captain Post

For those who know the long history that many projects in the non-profit housing world have, you can appreciate our celebration of a project that has floated around the office for almost five years. Moses, Kimberly, and Randy picked up schematic design on Captain Post for Clinton Housing Development Company. The long-vacant historic factory building on 52nd Street will be fully renovated with a small addition and will provide twenty-two affordable housing units.

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JULY: BxC under construction

Kimberly and Jun welcomed the start of construction on the Bronx Community Charter School which is expanding into a 30,000 sq. feet within a new building on Webster Avenue. Working with LOM Properties and Joy Construction, the new school will host a variety of unconventional learning spaces including nooks for each grade level and “front porches” for each classroom. BxC is slated to open in 2013.

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AUGUST: St. Lucy’s Houses + True Colors Residence

Grace and Daughtry kicked off construction on the St. Lucy’s Houses in Harlem. Working with Phipps Houses and Notias Construction Inc., the construction commenced and has been moving along well towards completion in Fall 2013.

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True Colors Residence in West Harlem, provides permanent supportive housing for formerly homeless LGBT youth. We are proud to announce that the building won a housing design award from the Boston Society of Architects, as well as a design award from the Society of Registered Architects. We salute Randy, Tatjana, and Ari’s hard work on this groundbreaking project. We look forward to working with West End Residences on the next True Colors Residence in the Bronx in the new year.

2012DS29 New Settlement Community Campus, Edelman Sultan Knox Wood Architets with Dattner Architects, Bronx NY

SEPTEMBER: NSCC opens

A collaboration with Dattner Architects, New Settlement Community Center in the Bronx is part school (housing a Primary School and an Intermediate / High School) and part Community Center. NSCC opened its doors just this past fall, and has already become deeply integrated into the community. At the ribbon cutting ceremony, various members from the Bronx and public officials, including Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, praised the school as a beacon for a revitalizing area. ESKW shouts out to all staff who contributed to the success of this project, past and present, including Alyssa, Amber, and Kelly who contributed tremendously to the project.

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OCTOBER: Hour Apartment House III + Janine’s Goodbye

All new construction projects rightly celebrate when they get out of the ground, but Randy, Fialka and Grace had true cause for celebration when foundations and block walls of Hour Apartment House III, rose above the ground plane. The project for Hour Children is a residence in Queens that will provide permanent affordable housing for formerly incarcerated women together with their children.

We were sad to bid farewell to Janine Sutton who had been at the firm for over seven years. Some highlights of her work include Eco-Restroom, 6 Columbus, Phelps House, LaMattina Wildlife Ambassador Center at the Bronx Zoo, and ECHO Apartments. She has moved to Boston and currently works at EYP Architects. We wish her great happiness, success, and many return visits to ESKW/A.

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NOVEMBER: Thanksgiving + the Mary Spink Residences

Per our tradition, we broke work a little early the day before the holiday early to celebrate together and give thanks. Everyone contributed to the amazing spread (Lauretta’s cheesecake was a hit), but Jun failed on his promise to cook a turkey with a blow torch. In these still-tough economic times, we are grateful that we can continue to do meaningful work in the public sector while still growing our business.

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Andrew and Kerry were excited to have construction kick off on the Mary Spink Residence for the Lower East Side People’s Mutual Housing, a supportive housing residence for mentally ill New Yorkers. The building will provide supportive housing and services for forty-six (46) residents.

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DECEMBER: Denton Green + the New York Aquarium

December saw the successful construction closing of Denton Green Houses, a facility for senior citizens in Nassau County, which is receiving a comprehensive renovation, new entrance drive, enlivened façade treatment, and new elevators. Daughtry led the ESKW/A team through the project and looks forward to starting the construction phase. Watch for updates.

Randy, Cary, Michael, and Jun are hard at work on preparing plans for the New York Aquarium Assessment. In the devastating aftermath of hurricane Sandy, one of the areas hardest hit was the coastline near Coney Island, and the team is preparing drawings for the Aquarium’s renovation. Of course, they are also working on new Sharks! Exhibit, opening in 2015.

That’s our brief look back at 2012. We wish you all the best this holiday season, and look forward to seeing you in 2013!