Harlem Dowling

  • Neighborhood

    Harlem, New York
  • Use

    Mixed-Use Building with Executive & Program Offices for Foster Care along with Affordable Housing
  • Clients

    • The Children's Village
    • Harlem Dowling's West Side Center for Children and Services
    • Alembic Community Development
  • Status

  • Budget

    $20 million
  • Size

    70,000 sq. ft.


Harlem Dowling is a 10-story mixed-use project on a prominent site in Harlem, completed in 2017. UQ guided the project through the rezoning and design review process of City Planning and ULURP as well as review by the New York City Department of Housing, Preservation, and Development (HPD). The building includes 60 affordable units and the full fit-out of a 16,000 sf community facility for Harlem Dowling/Children's Village at the ground floor and lower level.

Entrance Lobby at Harlem Dowling/Children's Village

The original institution was burned down in the infamous New York City Draft Riots of 1863. This project, timed to coincide with the 175-year anniversary of Harlem Dowling’s founding, will mark the first time since the Draft Riots that the institution will have its own home in Manhattan. 

(Left) Roof (Center) Facade in context (Right) 2nd floor terrace

Stair with skylight overhead

At the same time, the material choices, the ground floor, and the top floors provide a variation on this theme that makes the building stand out from its context in a manner that speaks to the mission and purpose of Harlem Dowling. 

The red and pale yellow metal panels on the facade act as a counterpoint to the more traditional brick, providing an outward vibrancy reflecting the program and mission inside. 

At the ground floor, a double facade is employed, with the first floor elevated and setback from the facade to allow light to the cellar spaces below. These two facades together create a rhythmic syncopation, evocative of Harlem’s rich cultural history. 

Double facade

Diagram detailing the double facade

This syncopation is repeated in the window and mullion design on the top floors, where studio units are set aside for young adults aging out of the foster care system, but who still need assistance and housing.  

Interior Community Facility

Interior Residential