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August 1, 2016

Creating Community Connections in the Bronx

How Our Projects Build a Thriving Borough


Our projects connect 1.4 million Bronx residents to culture, green space, and essential community services. Building municipal facilities and infrastructure projects in the Bronx is a unique challenge. The Bronx is the third most densely populated county in the United states, with much of its land designated for parks and recreation.




These challenges encourage us to use our design and construction management expertise in new ways. In 2006, the innovative addition to the Bronx Museum of the Arts was completed. The museum was one of New York City’s first Design and Construction Excellence projects, bringing world-class architecture to one of the borough's most populated neighborhoods. Since then, we’ve completed dozens of architecture, engineering, and infrastructure projects throughout the Bronx.

“From the art museums and public libraries that function as gathering spaces for people of all ages, to the plazas that connect Bronx residents to transportation hubs, DDC builds connections that promote a thriving, strong, and equitable borough,” said DDC Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora. “Starlight Park is an excellent example of an area where we’re connecting people. By completing the final major piece of the Bronx River Greenway, we will provide a continuous link from Westchester through the Bronx to the Long Island Sound. And with three more new pedestrian bridges and additional entry points to the park, the project will also bring together neighbors who have been cut off from each other by expressways and train lines. We are helping to renew not just a park or a river, but the community as a whole.”


Bronx Children’s Museum

The new home of the Bronx Children’s Museum will be a 12,800 square-foot interior renovation in the old Bronx Terminal Market. It will connect children to arts, music, and science programs. With a ground breaking ceremony set for this year, the project will give the 10-year-old museum a place to consolidate its programming and connect its more than 15,000 annual visitors to special exhibitions, afterschool programs, and summertime activities.


Woodstock Library

As one of the oldest branches in the NYPL system, the 19,000-square-foot Woodstock Branch of the New York Public Library is in need of an interior redesign. The redesign will upgrade all the building’s public spaces, allowing for better movement throughout the space. When it opens late this year, the building will also feature improvements in sustainability, technology, and ADA-accessibility, and connect Bronx residents to educational and cultural resources.


Westchester Square Library

The new Westchester Square Branch of the New York Public Library is designed to help revitalize the East Bronx. A modern, glass-clad building set in the center of a bustling community square, the library will attract local residents to enjoy the communal space and connect them with its extensive educational and cultural programming.


Bronx Zoo Lion House

When the Lion House was built in 1903, it was to house exotic animals from around the world. The Beaux Arts brick and limestone facility was considered to be state of the art, but as standards of animal care shifted, the lions were moved and the house was shuttered in 1985. We worked with the Wildlife Conservation Society to reopen the Lion House—providing new exhibition space, multipurpose event space and animal and plant support space. However, one transformation is something you can’t see at all—below the surface, a geothermal energy system uses pipes to harness the earth’s energy for heating and cooling the structure.


NYBG Edible Academy

The Edible Academy at the New York Botanical Garden provides educational programming that helps children, their families, and their teachers learn about growing and preparing produce. The Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden is the centerpiece of the program and serves thousands each year. The construction of a new, state-of-the-art building will provide key facilities needed for the expansion of the garden’s programs, connecting the community to hands-on gardening activities and cooking demonstrations and classes. Expansion is critical in ensuring that all children have the opportunity to develop an interest in the environment and healthy living.


BRAC

The Bronx River Art Center is a multi-arts, non-profit organization that provides a forum for the community, artists, and students to create. We are renovating the existing structure to create classrooms, studio space, performance space, an art gallery, and a computer lab. On the façade, BRAC is written abstractly in lime green, white, grey and black—representing the creative energy within. The new space will connect the local community with affordable arts programming.


Bronx Council on the Arts

The Bronx Council on the Arts is a non-profit organization that has provided cultural services and programming to the arts community of the Bronx since 1962. This work includes the distribution of artist grants, awards and fellowships, professional development workshops, and educational courses. We will renovate the building tomake new space for BCA's administration and the community. The transformation will provide a home for BCA to ensure the well-being of the creative community in the Bronx.


Bronx Museum of the Arts

In 2006, DDC and Arquitectonica completed a highly acclaimed, north-wing addition to the 1971 Bronx Museum of the Arts. Since the museum instituted free admission in 2012 and updated its programming, attendance has quadrupled. To enhance the museum’s overall identity and improve the way space is used throughout the building, Monica Ponce de Leon will renovate and expand the South Wing Atrium of the museum into an energy-efficient and transparent cube-shaped gallery. This will allow the museum to expand its programming and ensure that visitors are able to flow through the building with ease.


Roberto Clemente Plaza

Roberto Clemente Plaza is located at the center of one of the busiest transit and commercial hubs in the South Bronx. We are transforming the plaza into a bench and tree-lined public space. The new plaza will act as a gathering space for local residents and commuters, also serving as a stage for community events.


Step Streets

Ely Avenue Step Street is a beautiful, green walkway located on Tillotson Avenue in the Bronx. The project brings needed open space to this Bronx neighborhood and connects residents to the bustling commercial hub of East 222nd Street. Step Streets are vital community connectors throughout the Bronx with thousands of commuters using these corridors daily.


Van Cortlandt Park Pedestrian Bridge

As the third largest park in New York City, the 1,146-acre Van Cortlandt Park is critical to maintaining the health and vibrancy of local communities. The park is currently bisected by the Major Deegan Expressway. The new pedestrian bridge, currently under construction, will knit the park, specifically the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail, back together, providing a pathway for community access across the expressway.


Fordham Plaza

Fordham Plaza is a critical transit hub in the Bronx that supports twelve bus lines, serves as the city’s fourth-busiest Metro North train station, and connects Fordham University’s Rose Hill Campus and Roosevelt Educational Campus. The plaza redesign increased pedestrian space by 25% to accommodate the 80,000 people who flow through the space each day. It includes a new market canopy with kiosks, a new café, and planted areas with shaded seating areas. Once an overcrowded, unwelcoming space, Fordham Plaza is now one of the borough’s premiere public spaces and enhances safety throughout the busy retail and transit district.


High Bridge

In 2015, DDC completed a rehabilitation project on the 1,200-foot-long High Bridge, reopening it as a pedestrian and bike path for the public after nearly 40 years of being closed. The High Bridge is the city’s oldest surviving bridge, built in 1848, and connects Manhattan to the Bronx. The steel and stone arch structure was built in 1848 in the style of the Roman aqueducts and was used as part of the Croton Aqueduct that supplied water to the city. Now, residents of both boroughs can enjoy the new walkway as they cross this historic connection between their boroughs.


40th Precinct

The new 40th Precinct will be a 43,500-square-foot renovation to the existing police station. In addition to fulfilling the day-to-day needs of the NYPD, the building will include community rooms with a street level entrance for local residents to attend meetings and take classes within the precinct. The building will be one of the first of its kind, allowing the community to directly connect with the precinct and officers.


Safe Routes to School

We partner with the Department of Transportation to focus on safety improvements around city schools within areas deemed more hazardous to pedestrians. The City is working toward reducing the risk of accidents by adding new traffic and pedestrian signals, creating an exclusive pedestrian crossing time, placing speed bumps, and painting high visibility crosswalks.


Zerega Avenue EMS Station

Situated in the southeast Bronx along Westchester Creek, Zerega Avenue EMS Station is a vital emergency services station that provides critical care to Soundview, Castle Hill, Parkchester, Bruckner, and Harding Park communities, among others. The station connects residents of these neighborhoods to faster care by centrally locating services. It houses six ambulances and one command vehicle, administrative space, lockers and equipment for 150 EMS workers. The polycarbonate skin wrapping the building creates a translucent structure during the day and glowing structure by night, representative of the station as a beacon to the local community.


PSAC II

The new LEED Gold Certified Public Safety Answering Center II in the Bronx ensures a more resilient City by providing strengthened 911 services. It supports the existing PSAC in Brooklyn, and can potentially take on the entirety of its services in threat situations. This building is crucial to maintaining a safe New York City, and to connecting people to help during emergencies.


Webster Avenue Select Bus Service

The Bx41 Select Bus Service runs along Webster Avenue in the Bronx, providing a fast and reliable service for over 20,000 riders each day. This SBS corridor connects riders to 12 stops through one of the borough’s busiest residential and commercial streets—from The Hub at E 149th Street to White Plains Road. We are currently designing for additional improvements along Webster Avenue, including extending the sidewalks at crosswalks to reduce pedestrian crossing times, installing planted medians, and using real-time information kiosks at SBS stations.


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