Theses Master's

A Case Study To Determine Significance And Establish Evaluative Criteria For The Adaptive Reuse Of The Seamen’s YMCA House

Vazquez, Yojana

The Seamen’s YMCA House in West Chelsea was built in 1931 for the seamen entering the New York Harbor during the Great Depression. The purpose of the building was to provide services to young men and boys from the sea. These services included a religious life, educational programming, social activities, and ample housing. By 1967, there was no longer a need for merchant seamen in West Chelsea so the building was converted to a Narcotic Addiction Control Commission rehabilitation center. It remained such until 1973 when it was converted into the Bayview Correctional Facility. The Department of Corrections remained in the building until it was officially closed in March of 2013. The building is now up for sale and its future in West Chelsea is still undetermined. This thesis will determine a way to adapt the interior of an existing building to integrate new programming by developing a three-tier system to analyze the significance of the interior spaces. The three-tier system will determine which spaces or architectural elements should be preserved and which spaces or architectural elements can be sacrificed to accommodate the new programming without a loss of significance. As an example of the three-tier method in action, the Seamen's YMCA House will be analyzed and an adaptive reuse will be proposed. Through this example analysis, it will be shown that by utilizing the three-tier system, one can effectively determine how to best integrate new programming into an existing building without losing the historical significance nor understating the new use. The three-tier method should be used to guide the design and determine if the proposed programming is appropriate or if it needs to be modified so as to keep the most historical elements of the building.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Historic Preservation
Thesis Advisors
Bentel, Paul
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
September 17, 2014