An Elegant and Inspiring Green Roof Design

One of Riverdale’s most famous co-ops, the Whitehall, dates back to the 1970s, but it’s now home to an amenity that might just draw in 21st-century residents. The building recently opened a new, $6.5 million communal garden that covers two-thirds of an acre, and planted in such a way that makes it more like a small park than a standard-issue terrace.

The new design is, according to the architect, intended to strike “a crucial balance between aesthetic design and programming.” Some of its features include a gazebo that’s big enough to fit 20 people; a “water feature” that acts as a noise dampener; several shaded areas; and a playground.

But the architects—G. Masucci Architects, in collaboration with Site Works, which also worked on the High Line—also intended to have a bit of wildness in the new park. There’s a walking path that meanders through the whole roof, lined with plants that are native to the area; it’s covered by a pergola that will eventually be blanketed with vines.

“We had this unbelievable asset that was severely underutilized,” the building’s board of directors, Jeffrey Moerdler, said in a statement. And while it provides a lovely new asset for the building’s residents—which, at one point, included Willie Mays and Ed Sullivan—it’s also undeniably a smart investment for apartment owners, too. (“We knew there was real potential to turn this neglected space into a tremendous amenity that would add value to the property and to individual units,” Moerdler noted.) Bronx co-op building gets an elegant, High Line-inspired green roof – Curbed NY