Construction Update: Columbia Manhattanville Expansion

Columbia Manhattanville ExpansionColumbia Manhattanville Expansion

The first of the buildings to rise as part of the new Columbia Manhattanville campus has made major progress, and topped-out in early October. With 450,000 square feet of space, the structure will become the Jerome L. Greene Science Center; the architect is Renzo Piano.

The entirety of Columbia’s plan will add 15 new buildings, cost $6.8 billion, and transform an empty part of Harlem into a thriving hub for higher education; the neighborhood is currently dominated by old warehouses, high-rise NYCHA properties, and auto-oriented retail. The Wall Street Journal has additional details on the project.

Columbia Manhattanville Expansion

Columbia Manhattanville Expansion

Sitting next to the 125th Street stop for the 1 Train, the new campus enjoys prime transit accessibility, and the density is more than warranted. Surrounding blocks were thoroughly ravaged by Robert Moses, and the resulting urban form – by and large – is extremely hostile to pedestrians, and aesthetically unappealing.

Completion of the Science Center is expected in 2016, and the full campus build-out is planned for the 2020s. With the development spread over 17 acres, the positive impact on the surrounding neighborhood will be felt rapidly, and will become obvious long before the entire plan is completed.

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