appended to the rear of the original building consists of a narrow 7-story connecting structure, or hyphen,
and an 8-story rear pavilion. The hyphen has three symmetrically spaced bays on each story of its north
façade. The north façade of the rear pavilion is defined by horizontal ribbon windows containing fifteen
individual window sash.
The top (eighth) story appears to be faced in blue-painted metal and contains
seven symmetrically placed rectangular windows that are more widely spaced. The south (side) façade of
the structure closely resembles the north side, with similar fenestration patterns and other treatment on
both the original 1938 portion of the structure and the 1963 rear addition.
The rear (west) façade of the Bronx House of Detention, similar to the front façade, is symmetrically
configured with vertically aligned ribbon windows dominating the wings. The rear façade of the 1963
addition consists of a blank wall clad in gray brick.
|Above is a detail section scanned from a June 2006 Bronx House of Detention photo by David S. Allee, an image of which appears across the top of this web page. The detail shows a sign that reads: "NYC Department of Correction Bx H.D.M. Entrance, Do Not Block. Violators Will Be Ticketed and Towed."|
Two flat-roofed additions project from the façade.
One is placed roughly central on the façade and rises seven stories.
There are no windows at the ground-
floor level on its façade; however, a pair of small rectangular windows is located in the center of the
second story level, and pairs of smaller square windows arc located on the third through seventh story
Another addition is located at the north end of the rear façade. This narrow projecting structure
contains no windows and rises roughly eight stories, terminating just below the roof level of the primary
rear addition to which it is appended.
Multiple small additions have been appended to the rear of the original 1930s structure. On the south side
of the rear façade, a 1-story addition constructed of concrete block in 1982 occupies the area between the
rear façade and the northeast corner of the main 1963 addition. On the north end of the rear façade of the
original 1930s structure, a small 2-story addition has been added, for which the construction date is
C. DESCRIPTION OF INTERIOR
|Above is a detail section scanned from a June 2006 Bronx House of Detention photo by David S. Allee, an image of which appears across the top of this web page. The detail shows part of the roof suggestive of a pyramid. |
The majority of the Bronx House of Detention’s interior spaces have been modernized. Walls are
typically clad in glazed tile, and rooms are lit with overhead fluorescent fixtures. Metal bars separate
circulation areas from the jail cells, which include individual sinks and toilets.
Public areas within the
building include an auditorium and a gymnasium with basketball courts, as well as cafeteria areas.
Interior windows arc covered with metal grates. Portions of the interior spaces evidence deterioration,
including peeling paint and plaster.
In the entry vestibule, building’s dedication is noted in metal lettering:
“The Bronx County Jail, Erected 1937, Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works, Project No.
90502, Hon. James J. Lyons, President of the Borough of the Bronx, Hon. Robert L. Moran,
Commissioner of Public Works, Joseph F. Freedlander, Architect, George F. Driscoll Company, General
The Bronx House of Detention occupies the majority of the ±1.5-acre parcel on which it is situated. A
fence runs along the perimeter of much of the property. At the southwest corner of the property, there is a
stone fence post capped with a half-sphere.
Within the fenced area, the Bronx House of Detention site is
paved in concrete and features little or no landscaping. A parking lot is located in the triangular parcel
immediately north of the building. Sparsely planted deciduous trees are located along the sidewalks that
surround the Bronx House of Detention.
ASSESSMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE
The Bronx 1-louse of Detention for Men, formerly the Bronx County Jail, was constructed in 1936-3 8 as a
WPA project to the design of architect Joseph H. Frecdlander. The Building meets Criterion C as an
outstanding example of WPA-era institutional architecture.