With buildings like 15 Central Park West and 30 Park Place in his portfolio, Robert A.M. Stern is not exactly known for building affordable housing. But a few of his buildings do have affordable apartments, and the esteemed architect shared his thoughts on the issue with the New York Post.
On "poor doors": "It's one of the most complicated problems we have to solve. I am not a politician, and it is a political problem to some extent. I think methods of subsidizing apartments in buildings which have higher-income people in them is a good way. But it does have certain limitations . . . Manhattan used to be a place where you had very rich people along Park Avenue, then you would turn a side street in the '80s or '90s and the incomes would decline over towards York Avenue. There was a cross-section of class and social groups. We've lost some of that. [...] I have no answers but I am not unmindful of the seriousness of this discussion."
On rezoning East New York to build more affordable housing: "The other problem that I've been reading about and I heard in the mayor's speech for the State of the City is the East New York site. And yes, there is tremendous soft area there, but I worry that it might lead to the re-creation of a kind of large-scale poor district.
We have these housing projects all over the city which were the best in the world when they were built in the 1930s to the '50s, but they did isolate low-income people away from the city and certainly away from people of other income groups. Then I read about the banlieues in Paris and putting the poorest people outside and of course, the richest people live in the center of Paris, so I'm very nervous about these ideas. I'm very suspicious of the efficacy of these ideas."
Click through for Stern's take on his "family of buildings" and supertall towers.
· Yale's architecture dean on towers, poor doors and 'naive' de Blasio [NYP]
· All Robert A.M. Stern coverage [Curbed]
· Ranking Robert A.M. Stern's Contributions to the NY Skyline [Curbed]
· All Poor Door coverage [Curbed]