The Marseilles

The Marseilles

The Marseilles


The Marseilles

Date Opened

June 28, 1980

Residential Units

134 independent apartments for elderly and/or physically handicapped persons with low incomes

Development Partners

Architect: Beyer Blinder Belle Architects
General Contractor: Graphic Building Systems, Inc.
Major Funder: Bank of New York

Rental Subsidy

Project-Based Section 8 Contract

More Info

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Building History

The Marseilles, the first WSFSSH project, was originally built in the early 1900s as a luxury residence hotel at 103rd Street and Broadway. During and immediately after World War II, the Marseilles became the entry point for many displaced Eastern European Jews who were relocated by the international humanitarian organization, HAIS. But by the mid-1970s the building was empty and dilapidated. As a newly incorporated non-profit, WSFSSH identified the Marseilles as a site uniquely suited to its mission to provide safe and affordable housing for low income older people, and entered into acquisition discussions with Bankers Trust, which held the mortgage. The building was acquired and renovations to provide 134 apartments for elderly and/or physically handicapped persons began in November, 1978. It was a remarkable day when the first WSFSSH tenant moved into the building; by coincidence, or grace, the Marseilles had been this woman’s first housing in the United States when she arrived in NYC as a Holocaust survivor. The building opened on July 9, 1980 with 134 one-bedroom and studio apartments for people with very low incomes who are elderly people and/or live with physically disabling conditions. From the start, the Marseilles provided on-site social services. Although supportive social services are now required for this kind of federally funded housing, when the Marseilles opened, such services were neither mandated nor funded. WSFSSH had to fight for funds to assure on-site social services.