Bronx, New York
Client: Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation
Denisha Williams, Project Manager and Lead Designer for City College Architectural Center, 2003-2004
Awarded the American Planning Association NY Metro Chapter's 2006 “Public Process-Public Space” Citation
This schematic design for the transformation of an alleyway and dangerous street crossing at the entry to the new Bronx Library Center prompted DOT funding for streetscape improvements. The views from all floors of the new Bronx Central Library, a $50 million public project, take in Coles Lane, newly dubbed "Library Lane"—a steep, neglected alleyway whose ownership has long been in question. At the request of Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation (FBHC), City College Architectural Center (CCAC) created a schematic design to demonstrate the site’s potential. Denisha Williams served as Project Manager and Lead Designer for Library Lane while working as a full-time staff member at CCAC, supervising a team of student interns.
The design transforms the alley into a fully accessible urban plaza, overcoming the challenge of locating 262 feet of required ramps and landings within an extremely constrained site. Based on the schematic design, state and local elected officials committed over $1.2 million to the project. FBHC, the Borough President’s office, and the Bronx DOT are working to unravel the tangled ownership history of the site to allow further construction to proceed.