The public mews at Alfred White's Warren Place apartments.

Alfred Tredway White was arguably Brooklyn’s most significant and influential philanthropist and social reformer of the late 19thand early 20th centuries.  His lifelong work on behalf of the city’s poor population stemmed from a conviction that success, health, community, and the built environment were fundamentally interrelated, and that investing in the living conditions of the working poor could be both transformative and profitable.

Public housing today does not tend to engage the street with the level of retail, transparency and detailing as White's buildings.

Several of White’s most famous projects were housing in Brooklyn built to serve the working class. With their engaging street levels, airy courtyards and gathering spaces, today many of these buildings are both treasured and valuable real estate.

The commonly accessible backyard gardens at Warren Place, housing built for the working class

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Alfred Tredway White: Public Housing Pioneer Who Built For Quality Public Spaces was last modified: March 6th, 2012 by Craig Raphael