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Shepard Hall at City College (New York, USA)

Elemental Architecture

This $150 million dollar project has entailed the reconstruction of a 400,000 SF landmark building built shortly after the turn of the 20th Century, and in fact, the first building built for public higher education in the United States. The client was the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York acting as agent for CUNY.

Exterior work has included reconstructing the entire building shell including replacing 65,000 different pieces of ornamental terra cotta with new durable thin-shell GFRC.

Interior work has included restoration of the Great Hall, interior stairs and a complete evaluation of fire safety systems, IT systems and mechanical systems.

The $12.8 million restoration of the 14,000 sf Great Hall was made necessary by deteriorated structural elements, a severely inadequate mechanical system and crumbling floors. The scope of work allowed the introduction of modern, state of the art acoustic and lighting systems which make the grand assembly space available for a wide variety of programs ranging from lectures and musical performances to commercial film and television shoots. The work also included the refurbishment of twelve sixty-foot stained glass windows, extensive repair of the elaborate decorative plaster and woodwork, and newly designed limestone floor and new control booth. The restoration received the Lucy G. Moses Award from the New York Landmarks Conservancy.

This building is now restored to its place as the centerpiece of the City University of New York’s main campus. The project has received many awards and has been written about extensively.