Bea Arthur Residence

New York NY
6,300 SF

Cooper Square Committee and The Ali Forney Center, an organization serving LGBT youth, asked Magnusson Architecture and Planning, PC (MAP) to covert an existing 4-story, East Village brownstone built in 1853, to a new shelter for LGBT youth.  The building has been vacant and boarded-up for over 15 years and required a full renovation. When complete in 2017 the project will provide high-quality supportive housing for LGBT teenagers and young adults.


A gut renovation of the existing building and a small rear addition will create a 3-bedroom apartment on each of the upper three floors, accommodating a total of 18 residents. The ground floor will house the Ali Forney Center’s office, counseling space, a laundry room, and a multi-purpose community room with kitchenette.


The existing stoop will be removed to provide a more open and accessible main entry at the ground floor level, including a lift to allow for barrier free access. The brownstone facade and metal cornice will be repaired and restored respecting period details. Space for outdoor gatherings and gardening opportunities will be provided in the landscaped rear yard, and the renovation process will maximize use of sustainable building materials and energy efficient mechanical systems and lighting.