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Revealed: Harlem Dowling

Harlem DowlingHarlem Dowling -- image via Urban Quotient

The first permits are up for a long-neglected lot at 2139 Seventh Avenue, on the corner of 127th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard. Accompanying the permits are renderings from architect Urban Quotient, which is heading the project’s design; the building will be known as Harlem Dowling, and it will be a mix of community facilities and affordable housing, with HPD and Alembic Development heading construction.

2139 Seventh Avenue gets its name from the Harlem Dowling West Side Center for Children and Services, which will be one of the two organizations occupying the structure; the other will be Childrens’ Village, and both community organizations work to assist foster children.

Besides the community component, Harlem Dowling will have 60 units of affordable housing. The renderings of the project — posted on Urban Quotient’s website — are significantly above-par for an all-affordable development, and offer further proof that low-income housing can be attractive. The building’s form will be simple, and its appearance reflects the structure’s context within its predominantly pre-war neighborhood.

Per Urban Quotient, the “red and pale yellow metal panels on the facade act as a counterpoint to the more traditional brick, providing an outward vibrancy reflecting the program and mission inside.”

Harlem Dowling

Harlem Dowling’s site today — via Google Maps

Harlem Dowling will be beneficial for several reasons; it will serve some of New York’s most needy citizens, giving a new home to organizations that provide a crucial function for the city. Additionally, the structure itself will have a positive impact on the neighborhood, as the vacant lot had been an eyesore. Restoring urban integrity is crucial to Harlem’s revitalization, and 2139 Seventh Avenue is a definite step in the right direction.

The vast bulk of the space at Harlem Dowling will be dedicated to affordable housing; of the development’s 62,598 square feet, 8,771 square feet will be given to the community facilities. 2139 Seventh Avenue will stand ten stories tall.

On the same block — immediately to the south — another nine-story building is about to begin rising at 181 West 126th Street. The collective momentum will further enhance the neighborhood’s urban appeal.

No completion date for Harlem Dowling has been announced, but construction appears imminent.

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