Since 1984, I have lived in Independence Plaza, a residential complex of three 39-story apartment buildings, with attached townhouses. It is located in the Tribeca neighborhood of downtown Manhattan.
Independence Plaza was built in the mid 1970’s as luxury rental housing. It was converted to state subsidized middle-income housing and remained as such until 2004, when a new landlord purchased the complex and removed the state subsidies. Some long-term tenants left, but many remained. Long time tenants were allowed to stay with stabilized rents, thanks to a strong tenants association. New tenants moved in and are paying market rates, for newly refurbished apartments. Each apartment is modernized when the original tenant leaves.
Tribeca has changed over the years and is now considered one of the swankiest neighborhoods in Manhattan, with housing prices to match. Independence Plaza remains as a bastion of diversity within a community.
I live on the 39th floor of “Building 1” – the northernmost of the three 39 story towers. With this series, I photograph my neighbors, original and long term residents, in their apartments. What does it mean to be at home in your multi unit community, your neighborhood, your city?
By Susan Rosenberg Jones