Fort Washington Armory

City Limits | December, 1993

The image of more than a thousand homeless men sleeping on cots in the bleak, cavernous space of the Fort Washington Armory became a national symbol of the cruel treatment of homeless people during the 1980s. Bud a visionary proposal to turn the armory in Washington Heights into 200 units of housing for low and moderate income people, as well as day care and community facilities, retail stores and a regional sports center, seeks to banish that image forever.

The project, still two years away from construction, needs about $30 million in low-interest city loans, which the Department of Housing Preservation and Development has tentatively agreed to, according to Ellen Baxter, director of the Committee for the Heights-Inwood Homeless, which conceived of the project. Necessary private backing is contingent on the city loans, so the mayor’s support is essential. “We’re hopeful that the city’s commitments will be honored,” says Baxter.


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