26 November 2011 www.TheRealDeal.

com
PHOTOGRAPH FOR THE REAL DEAL BY MAX DWORKIN

At

the

Desk

of:JonAthAn

Rose
A model of a “dymaxion cube” designed by famed engineer Buckminster Fuller. The 1940s prototype was used to create the domed structures he became internationally known for.

C

onstruction in the city is still slow going, but Jonathan Rose, founder of the eponymous development firm, has a slew of new projects in the pipeline. Rose, a third-generation member of the Rose family real estate dynasty, is opening the 202-unit Via Verde, a mix of affordable rentals and co-ops, this winter in the South Bronx. His firm will soon begin construction on a mixedused Harlem project that includes 90 units of affordable housing, a charter school and office space for Harlem RBI, a nonprofit that works with inner-city kids. In addition, Jonathan Rose Companies is working on a redevelopment plan for Newark, N.J., among other projects. The 75-person firm — which is headquartered in NYC, but has offices in Denver and Albuquerque — is also opening a new office in Seattle this month. (The company is not part of Rose Associates, headed by Jonathan’s brother, Adam, and his cousin, Amy.) Rose, 59, works next to his assistant in a small space at his company’s headquarters on the 23rd floor of the Fred F. French Building at 551 Fifth Avenue, but he often uses this common “living room” for business. B y J ill N ooNaN

This six-volume edition of “The Iconography of Manhattan Island” was a gift from Rose’s late father, Frederick, who was chairman of Rose Associates until shortly before he died in 1999. “He used [it] to understand the history of the places where he was building,” and frequently picked up names for his projects, his son says.

A first-edition copy of Jacob Riis’ 1890 book “How the Other Half Lives.” Rose says he discovered Riis as a teenager. “His work was one of the sources that led to my commitment to working on poverty and housing in low-income communities.”

This piece by Tibetan artist Gonkar Gyatso is a collage of tiny advertising logos and other pop-culture symbols that form an image of Buddha. “It transforms all of the cacophonous energies into something more holistic,” says Rose.

A biography of activist and builder James Rouse, whom Rose called a “hero, a role model and one of the greatest developers of the 20th century.” Rouse, the founder of the Enterprise Foundation, “thought about how the whole community lived.”

A photograph of Bob Dylan from his “Highway 61” recording session. “It was a seminal album. And, it’s a moment of creativity,” Rose says.

This table was designed about eight years ago by a young architect named Sam Chermayeff, who was Rose’s intern at the time. The two went furniture shopping for Rose’s then-new office, and didn’t find anything they liked, so Chermayeff designed this table himself.

An Albert Einstein photo paired with an image of John Coltrane. Why are they side by side? “They both rethought the way we think. They were interdependent, rather than linear, thinkers.”

In 2003, Rose and his mother, Sandra, took out this full-page ad in the New York Times, reprinting Senator Robert Byrd’s speech opposing the U.S. invasion in Iraq. Rose’s parents were benefactors for a host of NYC institutions and projects, including the Rose Center for Earth and Space at the American Museum of Natural History.

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