BBB’s design for a 17-story mixed-use building, home to the National Urban League’s headquarters and New York City’s first civil rights museum, is rising in the center of Harlem.
The National Urban League is a historic civil rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment to elevate the standard of living in historically underserved urban communities. The new building is a collaboration of private, public, and state organizations, and will house the Urban Civil Rights Museum Experience and the National Urban League Institute for Race, Equity and Justice in addition to the National Urban League’s headquarters. The building will also feature retail, 90,000 SF of office space, and 171 affordable apartments to be constructed with support from New York State Homes and Community Renewal. The rational and urbane articulation of the curtain wall and massing expresses the different uses on 125th Street, ranging from the most transparent for retail to least transparent for residential levels. The building facade, animated through these varying transparencies, also features a balcony for the National Urban League’s offices overlooking the vibrant streetscape of 125th Street. The residential block is set back off 125th Street, with an independent entry on 126th Street. Located between Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Boulevard and Lenox Avenue, The Urban League Empowerment Center is central to the area’s financial, cultural, and retail activity.