GC Launches Project for a Ninth Floor/Roof Conference Center

(l. to r.) Herbert Berman, William P. Kelly, Chase F. Robinson, Gale Brewer, Steven Brier, Mike Byers. Photo: Paula Vlodkowsky.

“This is a great day for the Graduate Center,” commented President Kelly. He was speaking to a large crowd on May 8 at a ribbon-cutting ceremony initiating work on a Ninth Floor/Roof Conference Center designed by Donald Blair Architects.

As can be seen in the architectural rendering below, the design calls for a conference space large enough for 180 people with a vaulted glass roof and glass walls, which provide views of a soaring Empire State Building, and a long mural designed by Sol LeWitt.

Also in the architectural plan is a roof garden, seen below, which will be accessible through the conference space.

Principal architect Blair (left) explained that the mixture of classical and modern elements in his design for the Ninth Floor/Roof Conference Center  was “informed by the view” and the history of both the Graduate Center and the B. Altman Building. His associates Helen Miu and Eric M. Snyder joined Blair in describing the project.

Among other enthusiastic speakers at the happy occasion were Scott M. Stringer, Manhattan Borough President; Jeffrey Rodus, deputy chief of the City Council finance committee, who was representing City Council Speaker Christine Quinn; Gale Brewer (right), New York City Council member; and Iris Weinshall (right, below), CUNY vice chancellor for facilities planning, construction, and management.

The Graduate Center community made a strong showing at the event. Among those who attended were Chase Robinson, GC provost and distinguished professor of history; Herbert Berman, special assistant to President Kelly for government relations; Steven Brier, GC professor of urban education and special assistant to President Kelly for legislative affairs; and the Graduate Center’s “build-out” team, headed by Mike Byers, director of facilities, and Ray Ring, director of building design and exhibitions. Kelly acknowledged GC and CUNY members of the “build-out team” for their integral role in moving the project forward and thanked Stringer, Quinn, and the New York City Council for helping with capitalization. “We’re building for the future,” said Kelly.

Stringer (left) agreed and commended the GC for persisting in its mission to create an environmentally-friendly space for students and faculty members. “This project speaks to the quality of education offered by the Graduate Center,” said the Manhattan Borough President, who is known for his strong support of green roofs and alternative sources of energy.

At the close of the launch, Kelly offered his sincere thanks to all those involved in the project. The president also recognized the Graduate Center’s students and faculty, who will benefit most from this “environmentally superior place.”

Interested parties may view a virtual tour of the Ninth Floor/Roof Conference Center and additional photographs.of the ribbon-cutting/hard-hat launch party.

Submitted on: JUN 10, 2013

Category: General GC News