Skip to content

PS186 and the Boys & Girls Club of Harlem

The Residences at PS186 is the transformation of an abandoned school into affordable housing and new home for the Boys & Girls Club of Harlem.

Mature trees had been growing in the interior of the abandoned Public School 186 in Harlem for decades before Monadnock Development and its partners, Alembic Community Development and the Boys & Girls Club of Harlem, restored and converted it to a mixed-use space comprised of affordable housing and a new home for the Boys & Girls Club of Harlem.

 

Originally designed by C.B.J. Snyder in 1903, Public School 186 was abandoned in the late 1970s and sat vacant for over 40 years. The Boys & Girls Club of Harlem purchased the building in 1986 and Monadnock Development began work on the project in 2014 with Dattner Architects.

 

The project demonstrates several development-and-construction best practices: (1) a blend of mixed-income apartments with space for a community partner, (2) the collaboration of a public-private partnership that anchors the project in fiscal sustainability, (3) responsiveness to the priorities of the local community, and (4) a commitment to environmental sustainability and historic preservation.

tsttt

LOCATION

Harlem, New York

TYPE

School Conversion

SQUARE FOOTAGE

109,404

UNITS

79

Challenges

A fire in the mid-1970s prompted the City to close PS186; it sat decaying for three decades until the project team began work in 2014. Not only did the building need extensive and costly repairs from years of neglect, but the team also had to make those repairs while preserving the building’s original condition.

 

This meant salvaging interior wood details, replicating terra cotta façade elements, firing new clay tiles, and fabricating new windows to match the originals.

 

The cost to complete the project did not fit neatly into the standard subsidy programs. To fill a funding gap, the project team maximized the use of low-income housing tax credits, obtained State and Federal Historic Tax Credits, and accessed NYSERDA grant funding.

Results

Today, the Residences at PS186 and The Boys & Girls Club of Harlem is both a unique housing development and a historic community asset. It houses 79 apartment homes for working-class families: 50% of units are reserved for local residents and another 5% for city employees. It also houses the Boys & Girls Club of Harlem’s new headquarters in a portion of the community space.

By restoring the building exterior to its original design and retaining the character-defining features on the interior, Monadnock Development and its partners were able to preserve a piece of community history while providing much needed affordable housing for families and a central base of operations for the Boys & Girls Club of Harlem.

Related Projects

See some of our other developments.

  • All Projects
  • Current Projects
  • Past Projects
  • New Construction
  • Rehabilitation
  • Affordable
  • Market-Rate
  • Commercial
  • Mixed-Use
  • Affordable Housing
  • Multi-Family
  • Residential

Filter

  • All Projects
  • Current Projects
  • Past Projects
  • New Construction
  • Rehabilitation
  • Affordable
  • Market-Rate
  • Commercial
  • Mixed-Use
  • Affordable Housing
  • Multi-Family
  • Residential
  • Priority

    Our Portfolio

    We develop everything—from two-family homes and mid-rise affordable developments to high-rise mixed-use projects.