Boys & Girls Club of Harlem


Completed July 2016
Historic Rehabilitation, Affordable, Mixed-Use
Boys and Girls Club of Harlem, Monadnock Development
Monadnock Construction
Boys and Girls club facility, 49 apartments
Boys & Girls Club of Harlem
$48.6 million
Dattner Architects

We partnered with the Boys & Girls Club of Harlem to develop the former PS186 School Building, a historic structure that had stood vacant for over 35 years on West 145th Street in the Hamilton Heights neighborhood of northern Manhattan. The Boys & Girls Club of Harlem (BGCH), created as a mission of Convent Baptist Church, has served the youth of Hamilton Heights and central Harlem for half a century; while exemplary in its core activities, the BGCH, like most service organizations, had no real estate development experience; and its attempts to develop the building after its acquisition in the 1980’s had faltered. Over the years, the building continued to deteriorate, weighing on the Club’s spirit, finances and programs.

We worked with the BGCH Board of Directors to imagine a clubhouse that fit the space, budget, program and vision of the Club, ultimately arriving at a clubhouse of 12,000 square feet (a significant but necessary reduction from the 50,000 square foot facility the Club had once pursued). We retained a first tier design, engineering and construction team for the new P.S. 186, partnering with Monadnock Construction, one of the City’s preeminent builders of affordable housing. Today PS186, brilliantly restored using Historic and Low Income Housing Tax Credits and New York City capital dollars, provides an iconic home for the Boys & Girls Club of Harlem, with the club entrance on West 145th Street, as well as 79 units of affordable housing accessible from the residential lobby on West 146th Street for low- and moderate- income residents of Hamilton Heights. The project was awarded the New York Landmarks Conservancy Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award in 2017.