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© 2019 by The Curious Uptowner

Driving under the "the apartments" on your way out of New York City this weekend? Here's a different view.

July 27, 2018

 

If you're a New Yorker whose weekend plans involve getting into a car and heading to points south, west or north, there's a good chance you'll find yourself driving "under the apartments," as they're often called in traffic reports.

 

Also known as the "Bridge Apartments," these four blocky buildings sit directly on top of the Trans-Manhattan Expressway–the part of I-95 that passes through upper Manhattan right before the George Washington Bridge–and are home to about 4,000 people.

 

 

How exactly did these apartments (with balconies, no less!) manage to get built above a thoroughfare as fume-filled and noisy as I-95? It turns out they were designed by Brown & Guenther and constructed in 1964 as the city looked for new ways to create middle-income housing.

 

Sheathed in aluminum, the buildings sit on four concrete platforms that double as the foundation (the exact location is between 178th and 179th Streets in Washington Heights). As you would imagine, the shaking from the trucks can be felt inside, and when the windows are open, it's loud.

 

But if things haven't changed since a reporter from The New York Times visited more than a decade ago, many of the residents enjoy living there. ''When I talk to my grandmother in the Dominican Republic, she says, 'You're crazy! Get out of there!''' said tenant Cristina Estevez. ''But I tell her it's nice, I like it, everything is not too far.''

 

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