The renovation and conversion of a former trade school and a turn-of-the-century model tenement building provides 86 new affordable studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments. The buildings now share a grand entryway and a two-story light-filled lobby as well as indoor and outdoor community space.
A new steel and glass system encloses the original open-air stairs of The Emerson, maintaining the design intent while providing shelter for the new residents. The metal-clad top floor of the two new stories on The Old School is visually differentiated from the original brick façade, which is completely rebuilt to replicate the original design. Building restoration work includes new apartment layouts, masonry repair, new wood windows, roofing, and mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems. The new interior finishes are true to the original, including hardwood and ceramic tile floors and wood trim. The project was funded in part by historic grants from the New York State Historic Preservation Office.
The project received an Excellence in Historic Preservation award by the Preservation League of New York State in 2009. It was also won the Merit Award for Preservation from New York Construction Magazine.