RUTLAND ROAD PLAZA
Rutland Road Plaza
Architect: Donald Stull & Associates
Address: 60 East 93rd Street, Brooklyn
Use: Residential, formerly Mitchell-Lama
The 438-unit apartment building, Rutland Road Plaza, was built in conjunction with PS 770, an elementary school (Perkins & Will, 1976) in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Brownsville in the mid-seventies. The large site, which is shared with the school is bordered by E. New York Avenue, E. 72nd Street, Rutland Road and E. 94th Street; E. 93rd was demapped during construction to create the site. The block-long development is made up of three long interconnected 11-story slabs, each mounted by their elevator shafts which protrude from each side. Two of these housing blocks have a three-tiered extension that steps down towards E. 92nd Street. Between these two extensions and the street are two large parking lots, one of which provides parking for a grocery store in the base of one of the building bordering Rutland Road.
The grayish-brown rough concrete buildings are reminiscent of Balfron and Trellick Towers; Erno Goldfinger's brutalist housing blocks in London that have separate elevator shafts with skip-stop elevators and lower-rise extensions connected to the towers.
The American Institute of Architects Guide to New York describes Rutland Road as a failed attempt at affordable housing,
“One of the valiant, but misguided efforts in urban renewal, an island of concentrated poverty in a sleek superslab. What sometimes worked in Europe (Le Corbusier’s Unité d’Habitation in Marseille, France) doesn’t work here. Grim.”
Originally part of the Mitchell-Lama affordable housing program, Rutland Road Plaza was purchased by Developer William R. Lucas Realty Services in 2016 with private and public financing promising to keep the units affordable.
Developer secures $50M loan for 438-unit Brooklyn housing complex. The Real Deal, 2016.
AIA Guide to New York. American Institute of Architects, 2016.