Construction is well underway at Golden Girls star Bea Arthur’s namesake residence for homeless LGBT youth in the East Village.
Lower East Side housing preservation nonprofit Cooper Square Committee has partnered with the Ali Forney Center to finance and build the home, which will begin accepting residents shortly after its anticipated February 2017 completion. The Bea Arthur Residence, at 222 East 13th Street, broke ground in July 2015 and is designed by Magnusson Architecture & Planning (MAP).
The New York–based firm works on affordable housing and urban renewal projects in the city and metropolitan area.
Arthur, the actor and gay icon who is best known for playing Dorothy Zbornak in The Golden Girls, the sitcom that aired from 1985 to 1992, left $300,000 towards the 18-bed center’s construction after her death in 2009. When complete, the residence will contain three three-bedroom, two-bath apartments, facilities for on-site social services, a community room with a kitchenette, as well as an office for the Ali Forney Center. The entryway will be reconfigured to allow entrance at the ground floor; the original doorway will become a window for a second-floor bedroom.
The 6,000-square-foot residence is approximately 40 percent complete, Steve Herrick, executive director of the Cooper Square Committee, told DNAinfo. The city-funded, $3.3 million conversion of the disused townhouse were delayed by Department of Buildings (DOB) violations that have since been cleared.