Bernard M. Baruch Houses

Bernard M. Baruch Houses – the largest New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) development in Manhattan – is comprised of 18 residential towers housing over 5,600 residents. Completed in 1959, the 28-acre campus occupies prime real estate in the now-burgeoning Lower East Side.

In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, Nelligan White was asked by NYCHA to evaluate the long-term resilience of Baruch Houses. This project would set a standard for improving organizational and maintenance plans for NYCHA’s building portfolio. Furthermore, Nelligan White was also tasked with the responsibility of creating design solutions to make Baruch Houses more flood-resistant.

Several building elements were integral to the project’s energy performance and resiliency goals. Efficient and responsive power production was key to this project. Additionally, utilizing on-site resources was also essential. Lastly, this project included an analysis of how the site and its community center could better provide emergency services in storm events. This analysis became central to the design strategy.

To address these goals, our architectural plans included a new elevated central heating plant and outbuildings with an electrical backup generation system. This system supports the entire campus and enables the site to go off-grid during peak usage. The design also includes new entry plazas, renovated lobbies, campus-wide LED site lighting, security upgrades, and the reorganization of common spaces. These upgrades comport with NYCHA’s resiliency goals for buildings located within the FEMA A-zone. Buildings in these zones are particularly vulnerable as they have a 26% chance of experiencing a flood event over a 30-year lifespan.


Architectural Staff
Lillian Acree
Mariah Alvarado
Ester Martin Areste
Anthony Arnone
Charlotte Chebassier
Destiny Conely
Joshua Funderburk
Sonny Gonzalez
William Hovland
Mathanki Kalapathy
Jody Kinney
Maja Knutson
Jake LaChapelle
Nathan Laux
Laura Liu
Nicholas Meier
Bruce G. Nelligan
Thomas Pentoney
Jonathan Pietro
Shiori Sasaki
Mahan Shirazi
Yvette Waweru
Emily Wetherbee
Project Team

New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)

Structural Engineer
Gilsanz Murray Steficek LLP

Civil Engineer
Langan Engineering & Environmental Services

Mechanical, Electrical & Plumbing Engineer

Landscape Design
Thread Collective

KM Associates of New York

Lighting Design
William Armstrong Lighting Design

Acoustic Design
Longman Lindsey

Cost Estimating
Ellana, Inc., Toscano, Clements, Taylor, LLC

Construction Manager

Architectural Rendering