Cedars is a 95 unit residential building for low-income and formerly homeless families. Located in the Longwood Historic District of the Bronx, the project includes the adaptive reuse of Fox Hall, a landmarked building, as the main hub for activity and community gathering central to the project. Developed by the Lantern Organization with Friends in the City, Cedars simultaneously revitalizes a neglected site and provides a much needed resource for many low-income families in the South Bronx.
As Fox Hall is a landmarked, Greek revival style building, it could not be torn down and instead serves as the central, focal point for the design. While the presence of this free-standing building, set diagonally in the middle of the site could have been problematic, UAI turned this location into an asset by designing the new nine-story residential portion of the building as a backdrop to wrap and offset the renovated landmarked structure. Fox Hall was originally built in the 1850s and was the Samuel B. White Mansion that stood in the middle of a 70-acre estate called Longwood Park. Through state, city and tax credit funding the building façade has been restored to its 1850s façade to meet all requirements of the Landmarks Preservation Commission. The windows are mahogany, original window openings discovered and restored, the cornice repaired or replicated, the entry portico reconstructed, and the façade is authentic stucco as in the original construction. Fox Hall is now fully handicapped accessible by means of connecting corridors to the new building, and houses a daycare center and community gathering rooms. Many neighborhood residents have expressed their support and appreciation for the restoration and revitalization of the building.