Archdiocese of New York reveals new affordable housing on the site of a former Bronx church

Posted On Tue, April 9, 2019 By

Posted On Tue, April 9, 2019 By In affordable housing, Architecture, Bronx, New Developments

Photo courtesy of Magnusson Architecture + Planning 

Magnusson Architecture + Planning (MAP) unveiled a new, mid-rise building known as St. Augustine Terrace that will provide 112 units of affordable housing for low-income families in the Bronx. The project was commissioned by the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York and is the first building in 50 years to be built on the site of a former church, what used to be St. Augustine’s Church in the Morrisania neighborhood of the Bronx.

St. Augustine Terrace, Magnusson Architecture and Planning

St. Augustine Terrace, Magnusson Architecture and PlanningCourtesy of Magnusson Architecture + Planning 

The design began with the idea that a house of worship functions like a beacon of light for a community. The architects translated that to create a 13-story structure with fully glazed lobbies on each floor that provide great views by day then transforms into a glowing tower of light by night, illuminating the adjacent park. “The beacon of light idea is a visual representation of the client’s mission, it’s about hope and community,” architect Fernando Villa, a principal at MAP, told 6sqft in an email. “This project shows what affordable housing can be, both for the community of people who live there and those in the surrounding neighborhood.”

St. Augustine Terrace, Magnusson Architecture and Planning

St. Augustine Terrace, Magnusson Architecture and PlanningCourtesy of Magnusson Architecture + Planning 

One-third of the units, or 35 studio apartments, will be set aside for adults with mental illness who will receive mental health support services from the Beacon of Hope Division of Catholic Charities Community Services. The remaining 77 units will include 19 one-bedroom, 37 two-bedroom, and 21 three-bedroom apartments. The interiors feature hardwood floors, open kitchen layouts, and generously-sized windows connecting residents to the neighborhood. The building is expected to reach LEED Gold status.

St. Augustine Terrace, Magnusson Architecture and PlanningCourtesy of Magnusson Architecture + Planning 

The bell and stones from the original church were retained as part of the design, and are placed throughout the landscaping as visual cues celebrating the site’s history.


Photo courtesy of the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York

“Today, the Catholic Church of New York City is taking the lead in ensuring that low-income New Yorkers have access to well built, well-maintained housing, along with the services to help those with the greatest needs.” Monsignor Sullivan said in a statement.

He also noted that Catholic Homes of New York oversees 2,336 units of affordable housing across three boroughs and Yonkers, at 15 sites. Design and public approvals have begun for five new developments: St. Vincent de Paul Senior Residence (89 units), Second Farms (319 units), Christopher Court (160 units), and St. Philip Neri (177 units) in the Bronx as well as Grand Street Guild (400 units) in Manhattan. This will bring the total number of affordable units helmed by the organization to over 4,000 by 2029.

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Images courtesy of Magnusson Architecture + Planning and The Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York

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Neighborhoods : Bronx

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