255 Westwood Ave, Staten Island, NY 10314, United States, Alabama, Staten Island 10314
In the third article in our Typecast series, writer Brad Fox travels to Todt Hill Houses on Staten Island. Safe, suburban, and well-maintained, Todt Hill defies many of the stereotypes of New York City housing projects. Unlike the Lower East Side’s Smith Houses, which were constructed in the place of demolished tenements, Todt Hill predates most of the single-family homes in its surrounding neighborhood. At six stories tall, its buildings would not be considered towers in much of the rest of the New York City. But its brick construction, superblock layout, and very existence attests to a particular moment in the housing history of New York, when post-war ambitions absorbed a range of disparate ideologies for urban development (Todt Hill was completed in 1950; Smith Houses in 1953). Improving the conditions of poverty was only one among a variety of objectives, including housing veterans, clearing slums, providing construction jobs, and stimulating the economy.