CUNY is the guardian of a rich collection of architecturally distinctive and important buildings that reflect and symbolize New York City’s magnificent architectural, educational, political and social history. Historic sites such as City College’s neo-Gothic North Campus, designed by George B. Post, and the Stanford White Beaux-Arts jewel, Bronx Community College, join a developing portfolio of inspirational new structures by prominent architects, Baruch College’s light-filled Vertical Campus by William Pedersen and Lehman College’s Apex Sports Facility designed by Rafael Viñoly, among them. As CUNY builds its legacy, it is also preserving structures that have been declared national and city landmarks for their historical significance. Elegant, evocative and educational, the following historic sites have been given new purpose as centers of learning, while preserving the University’s – and the city’s — precious heritage.
Bronx Community College
University Heights Campus
The University Heights Campus of Bronx Community College, a 19th century gem, is the first community college campus to be named a national historic landmark.
Announcing the designation on Oct. 17, 2012, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar called the original buildings “a nationally significant example of Beaux-Arts architecture in the United States, and among the most important works by Stanford White, partner in McKim, Mead & White, the preeminent American architectural firm at the turn of the 20th century.”
Completed in 1961, Begrisch Hall stands in the southwest section of the campus of Bronx Community College, located in University Heights. This remarkable trapezoidal structure was designed by Marcel Breuer, one of the mid twentieth century’s leading architects. Breuer, who emigrated to the United States to join the faculty at Harvard University in 1937, began his career at the Bauhaus in Germany, studying design and serving as head of the carpentry workshop
The City College of New York
The iconic North Campus of City College, built more than a century ago, is considered one of the finest examples of Neo-Gothic architecture at any institution in the United States. The site features five landmark structures designed by distinguished American architect George B. Post, on a scenic campus between St. Nicholas Terrace and Convent Avenue, stretching from 138th Street to 140th Street in upper Manhattan.
The Graduate Center
B. Altman & Company Department Store Building
The CUNY Graduate Center has been located in the stately, landmarked B. Altman & Co. Building at 34th Street and Fifth Avenue since 1999. Upgraded into a state-of-the-art academic facility, the Italian Renaissance palazzo-style classic today provides a distinguished and centrally located campus for the Graduate Center in the heart of midtown Manhattan, while preserving a legendary, multifaceted gem of New York City history.
Louis Armstrong House
“From a humble, two-room shack in New Orleans, he rose to the top of the world and having risen to the top of the world, he came to live in Corona,” former New York Mayor John Lindsay once said of the famed jazz genius and pioneer Louis Armstrong.
St. Monica’s Church
The York College Child and Family Center, an affordable child care and education program for the children of York students, opened in 2009 on the redeveloped site of the former St. Monica’s Catholic Church, a historically significant Early Romanesque Revival-style brick church built for $25,000 in 1856 to serve the then-growing Irish Catholic population in Jamaica.