Andrew Freedman Home

The Andrew Freedman Home is a historic building in the Bronx, a borough of New York City. It was constructed for Andrew Freedman that has been renovated into an artists' hub consisting of an interdisciplinary artist residency, an incubator space, workforce development and community services.[1] It is a New York City Designated Landmark. The money to build it was bequeathed by Freedman. Located at 1125 Grand Concourse in the Concourse neighborhood, the Andrew Freedman Home was designed as a retirement home for wealthy individuals who had lost their fortunes.

Andrew Freedman Home
Andrew Freedman Home 1125 GC jeh.jpg
Andrew Freedman Home is located in Bronx
Andrew Freedman Home
General information
Location1125 Grand Concourse
The Bronx, New York
Coordinates40°49′58″N 73°55′13″W / 40.832742°N 73.920142°W / 40.832742; -73.920142Coordinates: 40°49′58″N 73°55′13″W / 40.832742°N 73.920142°W / 40.832742; -73.920142
Construction started1924
Design and construction
Architect(s)Friedlander Jacobs

The trust that operated the Andrew Freedman Home ran out of money in the 1960s. The home was reopened in 1983 for all elderly individuals, regardless of past financial status. As of 2012, the Andrew Freedman Home serves as a day-care center and event space.


During the Panic of 1907, Andrew Freedman, a self-made millionaire, came to the realization that he almost lost his entire fortune. He feared what would have happened to him in his later life without his wealth. As a result, he developed the idea of a charitable trust to build a home for older individuals who had lost their fortunes, where they could live in their retirements.[2]

When Freedman died in 1915, his estate was worth over $4 million ($107,100,000 in current dollar terms). Samuel Untermyer served as executor of his estate.[3][4]

In his will, Freedman bequeathed money to build the Andrew Freedman Home at 1125 Grand Concourse in The Bronx. The home was intended to serve as a retirement home for "aged and indigent persons of both sexes", who had formerly been of "good circumstances" financially.[4][5] Each resident lived at the Andrew Freedman Home rent free, and received free servants.[2]


Plans were filed in 1922 to build the home as a four-story brick building. Untermeyer purchased the plot of land on Grand Concourse. Architects Joseph H. Friedlander and Harry Allan Jacobs estimated the cost of construction at $500,000 ($8,094,433 in current dollar terms).[5][6] The Home was built as a four-story building in a French and Italian Renaissance style with soft gray and yellow limestone.[2][7] The building cost approximately $1 million ($15,810,000 in current dollar terms) to build.[8]

The Andrew Freedman Home opened in 1924.[8] The building was expanded between 1928 and 1931,[5] adding two new wings.[2] The building included formal English gardens, a well-manicured lawn, and public rooms with fireplaces and oriental rugs. Each private residence contained a white marble shower stall.[citation needed]

Retirement homeEdit

The Home could accommodate 130 residents at a time.[2] Although the first guests to move into the Home did not have the intended cultural background, many wealthy individuals who lost their fortunes in the Wall Street Crash of 1929 moved into the Home in the 1930s. After World War II, various Jews of European descent moved into the home.[2]

At dinner, formal dress was a requirement. People were forbidden to sleep on couches or put their feet on the furniture in the public areas.[2]

Just as with its beneficiaries, the trust's money ran low by the 1960s. By 1965, residents were required to pay rent. People began to move out of the Home as the area around Grand Concourse declined.[2]

Recent developmentsEdit

The Mid Bronx Senior Citizens Council purchased the home in 1982, and relocated the remaining 30 residents. They reopened the Home in 1983 as a residence for the elderly and poor.[2]

The Andrew Freedman Home was named a New York City Designated Landmark in 1992.[5]

As of 2012, the Andrew Freedman Home serves as a daycare center and event space.[9] On April 4, 2012 No Longer Empty opened "This Side of Paradise", an exhibition of artworks in various mediums including photography, video projections and installations. Artists such as photographer Sylvia Plachy and graffiti artist Daze showed work relating to the history of the Home and addressing themes like immigration and memory.[10]

Since "This Side of Paradise", Andrew Freedman Home Director Walter Puryear has offered an Artist In Residency program. Resident Artists have included DJ Kool Herc, Aaron Lazansky, Melissa Calderón, fiber artist Valarie Irizarry, and Josue Guarionex.[11] AFH | AIR artists are awarded studio space and participate in group exhibitions in the Home's galleries.[12] Artists offer workshops to the local Bronx community, exchanging 20 hours of labor per month for AIR benefits. Workshops are low-cost or free-of-charge and include art-making and music lessons, such as Afro-Puerto Rican drum classes offered by Jose "Dr. Drum" Ortiz.[13]

Current AFH | AIR resident artist and organizations include Renée Cox, En Foco, Jennie West and Meguru Yamaguchi.[14]

Andrew Freedman Home exhibits art regularly in its galleries and as installations throughout the building and grounds. Bronx Voyeurs featured works by artist Emory Douglas and others in a multichannel video installation in windows of the Home, curated by Walter Puryear[15] and designed by Benton C Bainbridge.[16] Interactive exhibit Undesign the Redline examined the social effects of urban planning in a series of participatory displays.[17]

In Fall, 2017, a three-venue exhibition between Andrew Freedman Home, BronxArtSpace and Swing Space opened, featuring Incarcerated Nation, Noté Peter George, Solitary Watch, Hank Willis Thomas, Julia Justo, and dozens of other organizations and artists. STATE PROPERTY is a multi-disciplinary examination of American consumerism of prison labor and our daily choices to purchase, condone or reject goods created in penitentiaries.[18]


  1. ^ Samuels, Tanyanika (December 7, 2012). "Old Bronx mansion turned haven for former socialites gets partial makeover as bed & breakfast". Daily News. New York.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Stewart, Barbara (September 14, 1997). "Making it Work; Where the Ex-Rich Lived". The New York Times. Retrieved May 7, 2012.
  3. ^ "THE MAYOR RETORTS – ASSAILS UNTERMYER – Hylan Calls Attorney a "Notorious Trust Organizer" and"Handy Man" of the Rich.BRAZEN, ARROGANT, HE SAYS; Charges the "Traction Twins," Sam and Bill, Are Again Working For the "Old Crowd" (PDF). New York Times. November 1, 1921. Retrieved May 7, 2012.
  4. ^ a b "UNTERMYER PASSES THE LIE TO HYLAN – Accuses Mayor of "More Falsehoods to the Square Inch" Than All Candidates in City's History. DEMANDS STAND ON TRANSIT Charges Hylan With Throwing Out "Smoke Screen Behind Which To Dodge Traction Issue"" (PDF). The New York Times. November 2, 1921. Retrieved May 7, 2012.
  5. ^ a b c d "Neighborhood Preservation Center (pdf)" (PDF). 1992. Retrieved May 7, 2012.
  6. ^ "File Plans for Andrew Freedman Home" (pdf). The New York Times. July 12, 1922. Retrieved May 7, 2012.
  7. ^ "A Home for Bankrupt Millionaires! You Must Once Have Been as Rich as a Croesus and Now as Poor as Job's Turkey to Qualify for Admission to the Unique New York Institution Known as the Andrew Freedman Home". Evening Tribune. November 23, 1924. Retrieved May 7, 2012.
  8. ^ a b "Dedicate a Refuge for Cultured Poor – Andrew Freedman Home, Which Cost $1,000,000, a New Idea in Philanthropy. Aged Couples Not Divided; Are Maintained Together in Luxurious Surroundings – Open to All Creeds". The New York Times. May 26, 1924. p. 17. Retrieved May 7, 2012. (subscription required)
  9. ^ Patrick. "Andrew Freedman Home – "This Side of Paradise" Project | Street Art Revitalization". Retrieved May 7, 2012.
  10. ^ Tanyanika Samuels (April 4, 2012). "Grand Andrew Freedman Home mansion on Grand Concourse inspires vast exhibit of 32 artists – New York Daily News". Retrieved May 7, 2012.
  11. ^ "Andrew Freedman Home, Artist in Residence Program". Archived from the original on June 24, 2017. Retrieved May 16, 2017.
  12. ^ "Feb 27 – Mar 27 | Andrew Freeman Home – 2nd Annual Artist in Residence Exhibition". February 23, 2015.
  13. ^ "Former Home for the Rich Now Gives Life to Struggling Artists | Past Due".
  14. ^ "Current AIR". Arts @ Andrew Freedman Home. January 5, 2016. Retrieved June 30, 2017.
  15. ^
  16. ^ "The Andrew Freedman Home on Instagram: "Art X Technology X Andrew Freedman Home"".
  17. ^ "Closing Reception for the Undesign the Redling Exhibit at the Andrew Freedman Home — designing the WE". Archived from the original on October 2, 2017.
  18. ^ "Exhibitions". January 5, 2016.

External linksEdit