Firm Profile PDF
Gotham has had particular success working with projects involving complicated sites and complicated programs. This success comes from the combination of our ability to be efficiently creative, our commitment to our clients, our persistence as we lead projects through the entitlement process, and our ability to find solutions that are in balance with and protect both the natural and built environment.
While we may have survived the Great Sprawl Experiment that lasted 60 years from President Truman’s State of the Union address in 1947 to the Great Recession in 2007 put the brakes on sprawl development, there is much work to do to rebuild our villages, towns, and cities to strengthen the triple bottom line of our economy, environment, and culture.
Gotham enjoys creating infill buildings within existing neighborhoods and has transformed places through the adaptive/reuse of existing buildings, as well as stand-alone buildings. Experience with this scale of project has enabled Gotham to take a strong hand in rebuilding communities, transforming them from barely surviving to thriving.
Gotham’s principal, Padriac (Paddy) Steinschneider is a Placemaker. Coming from a background of environmental science, he is all about creating buildings and places that make sense for where they are. While he has his Master's in Architecture from Columbia University, he is not an architect. He is a designer, builder, advocate and whatever else it takes to create a good place. He is committed to the wholeness of place, which includes the people who live there and their history, as well as the natural and built environments.
Paddy is the founder of Gotham Design & Community Development Ltd. Since the start, Gotham has enjoyed associating with a number of other well known architects on individual projects. Although not a licensed architect himself, Paddy continues to associate with designers, architects, planners, engineers, developers, investors, and end users to create special places. He is also a developer and provides construction management services on special projects that would be simply too difficult to get built any other way.
Paddy is about creating useful, beautiful buildings that fit their purpose and context. He has been accused of being a traditionalist, despite designing some edgy buildings, and of not being a traditionalist, despite restoring several historic buildings and neighborhoods. For Paddy, it is about what fits best.
Gotham Design & Community Development
First created as Gotham Design Associates in 1978 as a flexible association of designers and architects working with Paddy Steinschneider, the firm has morphed over the years, first to be Gotham Design Ltd., and eventually to be Gotham Design & Community Development Ltd. Paddy Steinschneider is the President of Gotham and continues to associate with other designers, architects, planners, engineers, developers, investors, and end users to create special places.
Gotham Design & Community Development Ltd. is a “placemaking” firm providing complete design, planning, and development services for projects ranging in scale from single family homes to large mixed-use projects. Placemaking is a new term for an old idea: Coordinating all of the skills, trades, and efforts necessary to create the places that we need as the platform on which we can live our lives in safety, comfort, and joy.
Gotham believes that our most important role is to be the “generalist” coordinating the skills of others, shepherding the project from its first thoughts to its first use. While Gotham avoids defining itself as being a “specialist”, it has succeeded in bringing an assortment of professionals together to form teams capable of achieving unique solutions that fit appropriately with the context of place.
With a permanent staff of five employees, Gotham often adds “Associates” to work with the office on particular projects. This affords Gotham the agility and the capacity to form that group of skilled technicians that best serves the needs of the project. This has also worked in reverse, with Gotham providing the office support to assist single practitioners and smaller firms who have the opportunity to take on a project that would otherwise overwhelm them.
Gotham is structured to be able to manage projects of every scale. While developing large scaled project like Rivertowns Square is exciting, Gotham also enjoys creating single family homes and renovating existing structures. At Gotham, in addition to the traditional values of aesthetics and construction methodologies, the quality of buildings and places is measured by their ability to reinforce the existing environmental context, as well as to inspire and comfort the people who will experience the building. At Gotham, it is all about the people and the place.
Each client comes to Gotham with something that they want to do, a problem that they have so solve, or a need that they would like to fill. It may be a new house to accommodate a growing family, a new space to serve their business, or figuring out how to make their community more vibrant and sustainable. Regardless of what the project consists of or its program, Gotham assumes those needs as its own and becomes the advocate for the client.
An active member of the community, Paddy is involved in associated activities on both the local and regional scale. In Dobbs Ferry, he has been a member of numerous committees for the Village and School District. He helped create the Festa, an annual event that brings fun and focus to the downtown, which he touts as "early Tactical Urbanism."
Paddy is also a founding member of the New York Chapter of the Congress for the New Urbanism, serving as Chief Operations Officer. In this role, Paddy has direct access to and has helped shape the cutting edge ideas that are transforming our Nation into a more sustainable place. His favorite hat is his New Urbanism cap, which has a logo on the back that says, "Saving the world one village at a time."