Address: 2-34 Columbia Place
Alfred T. White commissioned the Riverside Apartments. White was a successful businessman that attained his wealth from the fur trade, although, he was trained as a civil engineer. His success came at a time when most working class families lived in some degree of squalor. He believed that the working poor had a right to dignified housing, so he set out to create a new model for worker housing. White’s mantra regarding his real estate developments was“philanthropy plus 5%”. The Riverside apartments featured amenities uncommon in tenement buildings at the time and were White’s contribution to elevating the living standard of working New Yorkers. Other tenement buildings commissioned by White include the Tower and Home Buildings in Cobble Hill.
|Entrance & Arched Stairwell Openings|
|Arched Stairwell Openings with Terracotta Trim|
|Perforated Metal Railings|
Although the Riverside apartments take up most of a city block, there were once more of them. The complex was truncated by the BQE when four of the nine buildings were removed to make way for the thoroughfare. Also relinquished was the building’s central garden. The original affordable housing complex had a capacity of 280 families, utilizing forty nine percent of the lot for structures and the rest for open space. Apartment sizes had a range from two to four rooms. Rents were on a sliding scale with prices based on floor level and unit size.
- Gray, Christopher "Streetscapes: The Riverside Buildings; A Model Tenement in Dickensian Style" New York Times 23 August 1992
- White, Norval, Willensky, Elliot, and Leadon, Fran AIA Guide to New York. Oxford University Press, 2010
- McCormick, Tim "History Buff: The Riverside Apartments" Brownstoner 22 August, 2006
- McCormick, Tim "ARchitecture 101: The Riverside Apartments" Brownstoner 9 May, 2005