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Bronx co-op building gets an elegant, High Line-inspired green roof

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The 30,000-square-foot garden features winding paths, a gazebo, and more

The green roof at the Whitehall in Riverdale.
Photos by Ronald L. Glassman

One of Riverdale’s most famous co-ops, the Whitehall, dates back to the 1970s, but it’s now home to an amenity that might just draw in 21st-century residents. The building recently opened a new, $6.5 million communal garden that covers two-thirds of an acre, and planted in such a way that makes it more like a small park than a standard-issue terrace.

The new design is, according to the architect, intended to strike “a crucial balance between aesthetic design and programming.” Some of its features include a gazebo that’s big enough to fit 20 people; a “water feature” that acts as a noise dampener; several shaded areas; and a playground.

But the architects—G. Masucci Architects, in collaboration with Site Works, which also worked on the High Line—also intended to have a bit of wildness in the new park. There’s a walking path that meanders through the whole roof, lined with plants that are native to the area; it’s covered by a pergola that will eventually be blanketed with vines.

“We had this unbelievable asset that was severely underutilized,” the building’s board of directors, Jeffrey Moerdler, said in a statement. And while it provides a lovely new asset for the building’s residents—which, at one point, included Willie Mays and Ed Sullivan—it’s also undeniably a smart investment for apartment owners, too. (“We knew there was real potential to turn this neglected space into a tremendous amenity that would add value to the property and to individual units,” Moerdler noted.)

And there are plenty of apartments in the Whitehall that are currently available, according to StreetEasy; none of the co-ops for sale top $1 million, and a few rentals (for under $3,000/month) are available, too.