Robert Rauschenberg Foundation

Ryall Sheridan Carroll Architects recently completed a sensitive restoration of Robert Rauschenberg’s home and studio in Manhattan, as part of the run-up to the centenary of the artist’s birth, on October 22nd 2025. The five-story building, located in SoHo, was originally built in 1899 as a large townhouse and was later converted to an orphanage with an attached chapel before being purchased by Rauschenberg in 1965, and becoming his home and studio. The chapel at the rear of the property became the artist’s principal workspace. This impressive room was light-filled with three large lancet windows and a skylight in the wood framed roof.

After Rauschenberg’s death in 2008, his eponymous Foundation continued to use the building for the storage of his archive, the display of his art and as its headquarters. However, the 19th century building was becoming increasingly inhospitable - too cold in the winter, too hot in the summer and the layout of several floors not suited to its current functions.

The Foundation approached Ryall Sheridan Carroll Architects, having seen the extensive restoration they carried out on the Milton Resnick and Pat Passlof Foundation on the Lower East Side - a project that was remarkably similar technically, programmatically and in terms of its cultural and historical significance.

The leaky, single-paned lancet windows in the chapel were replaced with carefully detailed, replica mahogany, double-paned windows. Extraneous equipment and fixtures were removed from the walls with new concealed lighting added, and air conditioning was introduced with minimal grills in the floor and above interior doors, hidden behind brass detailing. Additionally, lighting systems throughout the building were updated and workspaces were reorganized.

The Foundation realized the importance of remaining in this historically important building where Rauschenberg not only worked but also entertained many notable members of the New York city art world. The scholars, students and staff who are tasked with maintaining Rauschenberg’s legacy continue to inhabit the same space as the artist - giving them an invaluable link to the past.

Photos by Ron Amstutz

Art  New York City