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.

Image rights are the responsibility of the user. Unless otherwise noted, images should be credited to the Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation. Please speak with a representative of the Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation before publishing photographs. Drawings and sketches Paul Rudolph as well as models and other material from his office are in the public domain, however the digital scan or photograph of the item still belongs to its creator.

Tracey Towers2.jpg

Address: 20 & 40 West Mosholu Parkway South
City: Bronx
State: New York
Zip Code: 10468
Nation: United States
Google Maps Address: 40.879596, -73.886149

Type: Housing
Status: Built

Date(s): 1967-1972
Site Area:
Floor Area: 869 units, 535 space garage
Height: 400'-0"/121.92 m & 400'-3"/122.00 m
Floors (Above Ground): 38 & 41
Building Cost:

Client: DeMatteis Development Company
Architect: Paul Rudolph
Associate Architect: Jerald L. Karlan


tracey towers

  • a Mitchell-Lama development

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“Tracey Towers utilizes the air rights over a storage yard for subway trains, simultaneously eliminating a Twentieth Century eyesore and creating a man-made plateau within the New York City area which gives a sense of community and identity. One tower is over the tracks, the other one on virgin territory, placing the entrances to the two towers at different elevations. The platform is used for parking, townhouses, recreational facilities and the contemporary phenomenon of a garden with air space under it. The form of the towers derives from the varied sizes of the apartment units and the curvilinear forms dictated by the site and automobile movement.”
— Paul Rudolph in Moholy-Nagy, Sibyl. The Architecture of Paul Rudolph. New York: Praeger, 1970. p. 220.
“In Tracey Towers, the exterior walls are not curved for structural reasons at all, but because the site plan and traffic movement dictated an easing of the corners. They are also curved in order to lead the eye around the towers, thereby emphasizing their three-dimensionality. They are also curved because they give a heightened sense of security to the occupants of a very high building, and one looks out and sees these walls, which seem like huge columns, closely rising from the ground. However, they are not columns, but walls, but they are read as columns, which is as intended for psychological reasons.
The geometry of the car is curvilinear and is, in this case, related to the rectilinear organization of the building itself. It is the result of two dissimilar elements coming together.”
— Cook, John Wesley. Conversations with Architects : Philip Johnson, Kevin Roche, Paul Rudolph, Bertrand Goldberg, Morris Lapidus, Louis Kahn, Charles Moore, Robert Venturi & Denise Scott Brown. New York: Praeger, 1973.
Right angles are rare; the floor plans of these apartment buildings near Van Cortlandt Park suggest palm fronds drawn on a child’s Spirograph.
— Bernstein, F. (2007). A Road Trip Back to the Future. New York Times, pp.1, 10.
New York’s ultimate example of futuristic design.
— Stern, Robert. New York 1960.

DRAWINGS - Design Drawings / Renderings

DRAWINGS - Construction Drawings

DRAWINGS - Shop Drawings

PHOTOS - Project Model

PHOTOS - During Construction

PHOTOS - Completed Project

PHOTOS - Current Conditions


sample file.pdf

Jones, A. (2017). The concrete jungle where dreams are made of architectural icons old and new, mapped by Blue Crow Media... [Blog] We Heart. Available at: https://www.we-heart.com/2017/10/17/concrete-new-york-map/ [Accessed 18 May 2018].

Adams, E. and Fuller, D. (2017). Living the Mitchell-Lama dream. City & State New York.

Rivoli, D. (2017). Transit union closes Bronx train yard over safety issues after workers were given helmets for falling concrete. Daily News.

Herndon, L. (2016). Decaying playground to get renovated at Tracey Towers. The Riverdale Press. [online] Available at: http://riverdalepress.com/stories/Decaying-playground-to-get-renovated-at-Tracey-Towers,60688 [Accessed 18 May 2018].

Norwood News (2016). Audit of Tracey Towers Repairs Warranted, Say Residents. [online] Available at: http://www.norwoodnews.org/id=20894&story=audit-of-tracey-towers-repairs-warranted-say-residents/ [Accessed 18 May 2018].

Cruz, D. (2016). Diaz: Redevelop Concourse Yards. Norwood News.


Rohan, T. (2014). The architecture of Paul Rudolph. New Haven, Conn.: Yale Univ. Press.

Love, S. (2014). Mixed Reactions to New Tracey Towers Mailboxes. Norwood News.

Beekman, D. (2012). Bronx judge blocks 65% rent hike at Tracey Towers until decision on legality of controversial increase. Daily News.

Beekman, D. (2012). Tenants cheer as Bronx judge postpones rent increase at Tracey Towers complex again as court fight rages. Daily News.

The Real Deal (2011). Bronx’s cheapest affordable housing complex facing 77 percent rent hike.

Beekman, D. (2011). Tracey Towers tenants fear 77% rent hike over the next three years. Daily News.

http://jonathanmaghen.com/, J. (2010). Beautiful Brutes. [online] South Willard. Available at: http://www.southwillard.com/news/beautiful-brutes/ [Accessed 18 May 2018].

Bernstein, F. (2007). A Road Trip Back to the Future. New York Times, pp.1, 10.

Bernstein, F. (2005). Come Right In: With Public Spaces and Model Apartments All Around New York, Residential Real-Estate Developers Have Finally Acknowledged the Selling Power of Interior Design. Interior Design, (76), pp.256-267.

Wilson, M. (2005). 3 Hungry Days for Deliveryman Stuck in Elevator. The New York Times.

Monk, T. and Rudolph, P. (1999). The art and architecture of Paul Rudolph. Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Academy.

100 By Paul Rudolph / 1946-74. (1977). A + U, pp.1-327.

Cook, J. and Klotz, H. (1975). Conversations with architects. New York: Praeger, pp. 119-121.

Chronological List of Works by Paul Rudolph 1946-1974. (1975). A + U, (49), p 162.

Kramer, P. (1973). Paul Rudolph, Oder, Die Formulierung der Bedeutung Eines Bauwerks. Werk, (60), pp.446-453, 456-457.

Rudolph, P. and Moholy-Nagy, S. (1970). The architecture of Paul Rudolph. New York: Praeger, pp. 220-223.

Urban Housing: A Comprehensive Approach to Quality. (1969). Architectural Record, (145), pp.97-118.

Stern, R., Mellins, T. and Fishman, D. (n.d.). New York 1960.