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NYC College Campuses with Awesome Architecture

August 18, 2023 | 4 min Read

Universities have long been known to be the epicenter for innovation, progress and new ideas. The same is true for architecture. New York City’s many universities and colleges are homes to some of the city’s most innovative architecture. If you’re an architecture buff visiting us, you’ll want to make sure you head over to some of the city’s college campuses to take in the historical, diverse and modern buildings that shape not only the campus, but the great city that is New York. No student ID necessary to check out these icons of style. Here are 5 great campus buildings you won’t want to miss.

Shepard Hall at City College

Built from the bedrock of the island, this neo-Gothic building is an icon of literal New York history. The Architect George B. Post is the famed architect behind this neo-Gothic structure, which was completed in 1907. For the facades, Post used the dark Manhattan Schist and contrasted it with white terra cotta. This chiaroscuro effect amplifies the dramatic capabilities of architecture. Adding further intrigue to the building, the serious nature of academic life was symbolized with the use of Gothic gargoyles and grotesques throughout the hall. To learn more about the City College campus architecture, see CUNY’s website.

Shepard Hall

160 Convent Avenue

New York, NY 10031

Roy and Diana Vagalos Education Center at Columbia University

The Roy and Diana Vagelos Education Center is a modern, zig-zagging 14-story glass tower. Built to reflect its purpose as a medical and graduate education building, it layers its technology-forward classrooms, open collaboration spaces and simulation center. Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the clean lines of the structure fit neatly into the campus offering a fresh take on a small skyscraper. To learn more about the award-winning building, visit Columbia’s website.

104 Haven Ave

New York, NY 10032

The Julliard School

Visit the Lincoln Center’s northwestern most corner and you’ll be treated to the Julliard School’s engaging single main building, the Irene Diamond Building. The Irene Diamond Building is a mid-century gem and was designed by the renowned mid-century architect with projects across the US, Pietro Belluschi. The building was treated to a makeover in 2009 by Diller Scofidio + Renfro and FXCollaborative. Simultaneously boxy with pointy edges and a wall of windows that looks out over Broadway, this unique edifice is a New York landmark worth visiting.

60 Lincoln Center Plaza

New York, NY 10023

Low Memorial Library at Columbia

The Low Memorial Library is one of New York City’s most notable buildings. With roots dating back to 1897, the building is the oldest on our list. The designers (McKim, Mead, & White,) modeled the library after the Pantheon in Rome, a soaring dedication to the nation’s great men. The giant rotunda at the building’s center was originally used as the main university reading room and served as the university’s library until 1934. Its dramatic dome is now used for administrative and event purposes. A visit inside oozes with history and it’s easy to imagine the space as a library stacked tall with books as filtered sunlight light pours through the windows.

Low Memorial Library
New York, NY 10027

University Center at The New School

The University Center building at the New School is the embodiment of the school ethos as “the forward-thinking design reflects The New School’s commitment to creativity, innovation, and social engagement.” Designed by Roger Duffy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the structure is a striking work that blends glassy transparency with a textured flair. The building is notable for its open collaborative workspaces and interconnected staircases.

63 5th Ave

New York, NY 10003

About The Lombardy Hotel

The Lombardy Hotel’s timeless elegance is iconic to Midtown Manhattan. Our rooms are spacious, comfortable and thoughtfully designed to make you feel at home. We look forward to hosting you on your next visit to New York City.

*Due to Covid-19 our restaurant, cafe and gym will remain closed for a time.

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