The Real Deal New York

Robert A.M. Stern talks “poor doors” and de Blasio

The starchitect offers some housing advice to the mayor
April 05, 2015 12:00PM

Robert A.M. Stern, dean of the Yale School of Architecture, has designed some of the most exclusive buildings in – or coming to – New York City. Having designed 15 Central Park West, as well as a trio of super tall towers – 520 Park Avenue, 30 Park Place and 220 Central Park South – the 75-year-old architect gave the New York Post his two cents on class divides, “poor doors” and housing policy.

Asked what he thought of the loss of mixed-income building and the “current mutation to a rich door/poor dynamic,” Stern said, “It’s one of the most complicated problems we have to solve.”

Pressed on his opinion of the notorious “poor door,” Stern shrugged. “If they have a nice apartment and they can afford it and it is a safe building that’s well managed, they don’t have to enter the same lobby. I have no problem if they come in the same lobby with me either.”

As for Mayor Bill de Blasio, Stern remains suspicious:

“I think the mayor is a very well-intentioned man in many respects. Sometimes, I think his intentions are naively realized. […] We have these housing projects all over the city which were the best in the world when they were built in the 1930s to the ’50s, but they did isolate low-income people away from the city and certainly away from people of other income groups. […] I’m very suspicious of the efficacy of these ideas.” [NYP]Christopher Cameron