The new Fiterman Hall opened in August 2012
With the start of the 2012 school year, a brand-new downtown educational facility is now welcoming thousands of college students. Fiterman Hall opened its doors on August 27th, almost exactly 11 years since the original building was destroyed on September 11, 2001. Located at 245 Greenwich Street (between Barclay and Park Place), the new building adds 400,000 square feet and 80 much-needed classrooms to the thriving Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) campus.
View a slideshow of the new Fiterman Hall here.
At 15 stories (including one cellar floor), Fiterman is unique as a high-rise classroom building. Architects from Pei Cobb Freed and Partners designed it to promote easy circulation for up to 4,000 students who will occupy the building at any one time. Two elevator banks of six cars each let students travel to alternating floors, with key cards issued to students with special accessibility needs, allowing them to stop on any floor.
From floors one to four, escalators and wide stairways keep mostly English and Mathematics classrooms easily tied together. On higher floors, where music classes, laboratories, faculty offices, and departmental spaces fill out much of the floor plans, there also is a three-story study-lounge area tied together by a spiral staircase, with panoramic windows facing the World Trade Center site. Additional student lounges and a laptop-oriented library serve as study and meeting spaces.
A mural by Queens-based artist Andrea Deszo, whose work also has been installed in New York subway cars and stations, will unify the multi-floor study-lounge area. Her multi-panel artwork will be installed in summer 2013 once interior fit-out is fully complete.
Fiterman Hall will offer public amenities too, including several new bike racks on its west side, as well as a caf on its southwest corner and an art gallery on its east side. Those spaces are now being completed, and should open later this year. The building's top two floors also have a large meeting space and an open-air terrace (on the west side, where there is a faade setback), which could host community meetings.
The red-brick facade was used as a way to visually tie the new Fiterman Hall to the nearly all-brick BMCC main campus at 199 Chambers Street, three blocks north on Greenwich Street. The new building's interior has the feel of a modern office building or museum, designed for easy navigation.
Officially named the Miles and Shirley Fiterman Hall, the new $325 million building replaces the original one (built in 1959) donated by the couple in 1993. It was irreparably damaged on 9/11 by debris from the collapsed 7 WTC, and took eight years to usher through the condemnation, decontamination, and deconstruction process. Just prior to 9/11, the original Fiterman had just undergone a major rehabilitation in time for the 2001 school year.
Once the damaged Fiterman Hall was demolished, the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) worked with the architects and contractor Hunter Roberts to rebuild the structure in just two years.
Its completion marks the end of Lower Manhattan rebuilding for all structures damaged on 9/11, with the exception of the WTC site itself.