Welcome to the Archives of the Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation. The purpose of this online database is to function as a tool for scholars, students, architects, preservationists, journalists and other interested parties. The archive consists of photographs, slides, articles and publications from Rudolph’s lifetime; physical drawings and models; personal photos and memorabilia; and contemporary photographs and articles.

Unless otherwise noted, all images and drawings are copyright © The Estate of Paul Rudolph and The Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation. Please speak with a representative of the Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation to get permission to use any drawings or photos. Drawings, sketches and other materials produced by Rudolph’s architectural office at the Library of Congress are maintained there for preservation, but the intellectual property rights belong to the Paul Rudolph Estate and Ernst Wagner, founder of the Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation.

Oriental Gardens.jpg

Address: 19 Level Street
City: New Haven
State: Connecticut
Zip Code: 06515
Nation: United States
Google Maps Address: 41.34461, -72.96307

Type: Housing
Status: Demolished

Date(s): 1968
Site Area:
Floor Area:
Floors (Above Ground): 2
Building Cost:

Client: Oriental Housing Development Corporation
Architect: Paul Rudolph
Associate Architect: 
Landscape: Technical Planning Associates
Structural: Paul Gugliotta
MEP: Hubbard, Lawless & Osborne

Contractor: Modular Structure, Inc.

Oriental Masonic Gardens

  • It was a federally aided project designed to solve housing shortage in New Haven, 1970.

  • It offered 2-5 bedroom apartments with price ranging from $112-$141.

  • It consisted of 148 prefab units on 12.5 acres.

  • It had a total of 333 modules, costing $2,363,000.

  • Demolished in 1981

  • Replaced by new housing known as ‘Westfield Manor’

These stacked houses consist of two blocks, one at the ground floor containing a living-dining-kitchen, a second block at the second floor containing the bedrooms and baths. These two blocks face their own courtyard, allowing each ‘house’ to have its own plot of land and identity. By grouping such units in fours around a single core an alternative to the row house or single family house is achieved. Two 3/8 inch sheets of plywood are bound to form vaults, apparently expanding the interior space. Construction started on this project in October, 1969, and will be the first project utilizing the ‘Twentieth Century Brick.’
— Paul Rudolph in Moholy-Nagy, Sibyl, and Gerhard Schwab. The Architecture of Paul Rudolph. New York: Praeger, 1970. P. 218
In New Haven, in the 60s, I designed some housing using trailers. I had the acquiescence of Mayor Lee, a remarkable mayor indeed. The whole notion of making a project for about 150 people using trailers was difficult to persuade anybody to do. I suppose it was a mistake; it was eventually demolished. People hated it. First of all it leaked, which is a very good reason to hate something, but I think it was much more complicated than that. Psychologically, the good folk who inhabited these dwellings thought that they were beneath them. In other words, the deviation of the dwelling was not something to their liking. I thought, and I suppose the mayor thought, that trailers were perfectly good enough for them. But I should say, in defense of what we built, that it was a pocket court plan and that it provided a separate outside space for each family. There were two stories, with a core at the center. I am very tenacious about certain things, and in the long run it seems to me that with the correcting of mistakes one can make something much more successful.
— Paul Rudolph in “Rethinking Designs in the 60s,” Perspecta, 1998

DRAWINGS - Design Drawings / Renderings

DRAWINGS - Construction Drawings

DRAWINGS - Shop Drawings

PHOTOS - Project Model

PHOTOS - During Construction

PHOTOS - Completed Project

PHOTOS - Current Conditions