Harlem River Houses – New York NY


The Harlem River Houses, together with First Houses in Manhattan and the Williamsburg Houses in Brooklyn, were the first federally-funded public housing projects in New York City.   The project was funded by the Public Works Administration (PWA Docket No. H-1302).

Wikipedia states:  “The Harlem River Houses is a New York City Housing Authority public housing complex located between West 151st and West 153rd Streets and between Macombs Place and the Harlem River Drive in the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. The complex, which covers 9 acres (3.6 ha), was built in 1936-37 and opened in October 1937 – one of the first two housing projects in the city funded by the Federal government – with the goal of providing quality housing for working-class African Americans. It has 574 apartments.

The complex was designated a New York City Landmark in 1975 and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. In 2014 the complex was designated a Special Planned Community Preservation District, a zoning category created in 1974 to ‘to preserve and protect … superior examples of town planning or large-scale development.’ The success of the project can be attributed to its formal, classically-influenced design, to the project’s focus on attracting a wide variety of tenants, not just the indigent, and to its ‘generous budget and high aspirations for quality.’ “

Source notes

"GSAPP: Andrew S. Dolkart", last accessed March 2016
"Wikipedia: Harlem River Houses", last accessed March 2016

Project originally submitted by Evan Kalish on August 4, 2014.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

New York, NY 10039

Coordinates: 40.826241, -73.936278

2 comments on “Harlem River Houses – New York NY

  1. Amanda Seligman

    There is a chapter about the Harlem River Houses in Gail Radford’s MODERN HOUSING FOR AMERICA.

    • Gabriel Milner

      Thanks for passing this along! We have an entry for Modern Housing for American in our bibliography and we highly recommend folks take a look.

Leave a Reply

Before leaving a comment, please note:

  • Comments allow viewers to share information with others or alert us to errors or changes in a New Deal site.
  • We are not involved in the management of New Deal sites and have no information about visits, hours or rentals.
  • This page shows all the information we have for this site; if you have new information or photos to share, click below.


We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.