Press | November 8, 1992

Color Them Brightly

The New York Times

 

Pink. Peach. Yellow. Blue. The vibrant colors of the 26 new two-family houses at Melrose Avenue and East 155th Street in the Bronx strike some viewers as being a bit out of context. But that may be part of their appeal.

 

“They represent the new context,” said Kathryn Wylde, president of the New York City Housing Partnership, which sponsored the project, with city and state assistance.

 

“They’re a new and brightly colored spot – with an almost Caribbean theme – in an otherwise boring brick streetscape,” she said. “The stucco finish and the bright pastel colors reflect, appropriately, the impact in our residential market of the growing Caribbean population.”

 

The subsidized houses, for buyers with incomes between $30,000 and $52,000, cost less than $150,000 and were sold out during construction. Each has a ground-floor rental unit, with a two-story owner’s unit above. They were built by the Arbol Development Corporation of the Bronx, whose principals are Gerson Nieves and Michael Gutterman.

 

Magnusson Architects of Manhattan designed the project, starting with prefabricated modules. “In order for them not to look like low-cost housing,” Magnus Magnusson said, “we offset every other pair of homes, so there would be visual interest.” They also used a synthetic stucco, varied the color and design of the siding material and increased the number and size of the windows.