Renovation – New York, New York

CUNY Graduate Center

The new campus building for the Graduate Center of the City University of New York is a vertical complex organized on twelve levels of a Renaissance Revival landmark, the former B. Altman’s Department Store in midtown Manhattan.

The equivalent of several individual campus buildings, it offers a wide range of functions and services – a cultural complex with two auditoriums and art gallery, television broadcast facilities, a high-tech library, five floors of academic classrooms and offices, administrative and conference areas, dining and support spaces on 12 floors. The 92,000 SF research library facility, which occupies a portion of the first floor, concourse and entire second floor combines print and high-tech media.

Academic and research areas, located on the middle five floors, include classrooms, seminar rooms, lecture halls, computer labs, faculty offices and student study areas, a science center, and offices for centers and institutes. The design places public facilities at the lower levels including a 400 seat auditorium, 200 seat recital hall, art gallery, bookstore and coffee bar, conference center, and monumental lobby.

Electrical system design included the upgrade and expansion of Con Edison services, 1000KW emergency generator for life safety and selected loads, a UPS system for the TV studio and computer room, automatic light control throughout the building (occupancy sensors and time clock), dimming system for dining areas, breakout spaces and related areas, and extensive modification of the fire alarm system including a new fire command station.

Fire protection system design included complete sprinklers throughout and a dry pipe system for TV areas, computer rooms, art gallery, and library special collections.

The project received the Renovation of the Year Award by Building Magazine


City University of New York


Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman & Associates Architects


582,000 SF

Construction Cost

$132 Million

Completion Date



Gold Certified

Client Reference

Mr. Thomas Florkewicz
Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman & Associates Architects
525 Broadway
New York, NY 10012
(212) 947-1240


Electrical Engineering
Fire Protection Engineering