Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute


Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute LEED® Gold, Restoration & Adaptive Re-use of Historic 125th St. Firehouse

New York, NY

CSA Group was contracted for full A/E design and construction support services for the adaptive re-use of this historical firehouse located on East 125th street for the new and expanded Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI) headquarters in historic East Harlem.

The exterior of this building was restored to its historic beauty bringing back its original attributes. The design intention was to keep the exterior of the building aesthetically intact. The existing large vehicular entrance was repaired, and a new transparent glass entry system was designed to engage the building’s original historical character with the neighborhood. When these doors are opened, pedestrians can see through a simple glass wall with an interactive exhibition that draws them into this Cultural Center.

The new lobby welcomes visitors as they immediately experience the interactive exhibition and sense the aroma of fresh Caribbean coffee from the Café. Information and greeting spaces are located at the front of the Lobby as a welcoming and wayfinding point for all visitors. This historic building has a range of uses including exhibition and performance space, meeting and community rooms, a media center, classrooms, program offices, and a café.