The Goldin at Essex Crossing

Architecture firm: Dattner Architects

Owner: Delancey Street Associates

Location: New York, NY

Category: Merit

In 1967, tenants in the Seward Park Area were relocated from their homes to make way for a planned massive urban renewal project. However, the project was not implemented, and the site remained vacant and barren.

Fifty years later, the decades-old promise to revitalize this important corner of Manhattan’s Lower East Side (LES) was realized with the opening of the Goldin at Essex Crossing. The building is named for local resident and activist, Francis Goldin, who fought to bring new affordable housing to the neighborhood. Sited at 175 Delancey Street, the Goldin is the first building to be completed in the larger 1.9 million square foot Essex Crossing development initiated through a public-private partnership.

The Goldin provides much-needed affordable senior housing, healthcare, and community services. The 15-story mixed-use building comprises 96,200 square feet of residential space with 100 senior housing units, atop a four-story podium with ground floor retail, a large ambulatory care center, a cafe that supports job training, and community facilities operated by two venerable area non-profits.

The project transforms the perception of affordable senior housing with a distinctive contemporary design using a striking brick expression. The Goldin is designed to convey a warm, vibrant, and welcoming residential setting that is vital to affordable senior housing. The well-proportioned one-bedroom apartments are bright with high quality, modern, elegant finishes.

The design enables residents to live independently, while being a part of a community with supportive resources. The Goldin provides a variety of senior-oriented cultural, social, and medical programs to support independent living and enhance the quality of life. These programs also serve the wider neighborhood, ensuring a variety of services and amenities not possible in a more conventionally programmed project. Two park-like rooftop gardens provide recreational spaces and a connection with nature in a dense urban environment.  

"This is excellent urban living. It embraces the cultural diversity and exceeds sustainable requirements." - Jury comment

In addition to the building and residences, the architectural team designed the mixed-use programming at the base of the building, including fit-outs for the NYU Langone Medical Center and non-profit social services providers, Grand Street Settlement (GSS) Community Center, Lower East Side Partnership BID offices, Henry Street Settlement Workforce Development Center, Little Stars of Broome Street Early Childcare Center operated by the Chinese American Planning Council, and The Grand Lo cafe on the ground level, open to the community, is part of a culinary training program offered by GSS. The Joan H. & Preston Robert Tisch Center is a state-of-the art facility encompassing a Physical Therapy practice, an Ambulatory Surgery Center, and two family/primary care practices. The base also houses a neighborhood bicycle shop and property management offices for the overall Essex Crossing development.

To ensure a collaborative process from the start of design through construction, the design team served as an intermediary between NYU Langone, Grand Street Settlement, Henry Street Settlement, and Delancey Street Associates, the project developers.

Project goals

Born out of a resident-driven neighborhood planning process, Essex Crossing is the culmination of nearly 50 years of collaboration between the City of New York and the local community. It is one of the city’s most significant urban renewal projects. The goals for Essex Crossing include exemplifying best practices in land use and incorporating a wide array of uses in limited space for residents with a broad range of incomes and ages.  As the first building to be built within this development, it was critical that the Goldin reflect the goals of the public-private development, community engagement, and high-quality retaliation of the neighborhood. 175 Delancey was designed to become integrated into its surroundings, while providing a quality, affordable living solution to seniors of limited means.   Project goals included:  

  • Provide 100 affordable, well-designed senior units.  
  • Expand the definition of “senior” to include pre-retirement aged residents, and provide one-bedroom units that allow for flexibility of use, understanding that needs transition overtime.  
  • Respond to the needs of both resident and non-resident seniors from the surrounding neighborhood with robust programmatic offerings, and indoor/outdoor space to promote health and wellness.  
  • Provide 80,000 square feet of non-residential program including senior programming, neighborhood social services, a not-for-profit run neighborhood cafe, outpatient medical clinic, and other uses that support both senior and non-senior populations.  
  • Provide a sense of community within the building with outdoor and indoor gathering spaces for residents, which become an urban oasis from the busy and dynamic neighborhood.  
  • Integrate architecturally into its surroundings, taking maximum advantage of light, air, and urban views.

Unique features

Originally, the master plan for Essex Crossing required 175 Delancey’s residential portion to be oriented on a north-south axis. This would have resulted in the units facing an existing taller residential tower to the east and another planned residential tower to the west. Following initial site studies, the design team convinced the developer to choose a second option, permitted by zoning rules, to orient the residential units on an east-west axis. The change in orientation results in half the units to face north, overlooking the Lower East Side and Manhattan skyline, while the south facing units have unobstructed views and an abundant amount of sunlight. The building’s orientation allows all units to have fantastic day light and stellar views.

Additional information

Project attributes

Project site context/setting: urban

Is this project a LifePlan Community? No

Provider type: for profit

Target market: Low income/subsidized

Project area - GSF of new construction: 178,000

Project area - GSF of additions: n/a

Project area - GSF of renovations: n/a

Project team

Acoustical Consultant: Acoustical Distinctions

Engineer – civil: AKRF

Engineer – geotechnical: URS Corporation

Engineer – MEP: Rodkin Cardinale Consulting Engineers

Engineer – structural: De Nardis Engineering

Expediter: Design 2147

General Contractor: Delancey Street Builders

Landscape Architect: Kokobo Greenscapes  

Specifications: Robert Schwartz & Associates  


Quinn deMenna, AIA, Chair, City Invincible, Camden, New Jersey

Steve Leone, AIA, Spiezle Architectural Group, Inc., New York, NY

Steve Lindsey, Garden Spot Village, New Holland, Pennsylvania

Dean Maddalena, Studio Six5, Austin, TX

Rhonda Spector, 2Life Communities, Brighton, Massachusetts

Image credits

The Goldin at Essex Crossing-03

David Sundberg ESTO / Dattner Architects

The Goldin at Essex Crossing-06

Coe Hoeksema / Dattner Architects

The Goldin at Essex Crossing-07

Coe Hoeksema / Dattner Architects

The Goldin at Essex Crossing-05

Ari Burling / Dattner Architects

The Goldin at Essex Crossing-04

David Sundberg ESTO / Dattner Architects