Madison Square Boys & Girls Club
Central Harlem Clubhouse
New York, NY


Davis Brody Bond participated in an invited competition to re-design the Flagship Central Harlem clubhouse of the Madison Square Boys and Girls Club clubhouse. The final design is a celebration of the cultural influences prevalent in the historic neighborhood at the former site of the Polo Grounds — diverse, open, bright and uplifting. The exterior and interior cladding systems employ colorful and cost-effective masonry, metals and glazing, and flexible enough to incorporate graphic art, photos or inspirational messages. Reverently acknowledging the spectators who viewed polo ground events from nearby Coogan’s Bluff, the design team explored opportunities to strategically open the building façade to express the diverse activity within and receive natural light. 

To establish productive relationships with athletic organizations that once called the Polo Grounds home, Madison Square Boys and Girls Club and Davis Brody Bond will explore sponsorship opportunities by creating themed venues. Iconic images such as the 1954 World Series “The Catch” and the 1956 NY Giants NFL championship “Sneaker” game could be used as backdrops in the teen lounge or meeting rooms. The MSBGC might even construct a scaled-down “Explorers-only” Rucker Park court lined with photographs of the Harlem Rens, current NBA stars, and local legends.