Upgrade After 90 Years Will Bring Building into the 21st Century
Built in 1929, the Lawrence and Eris Field Building at 17 Lexington Avenue is the historic hub and sentimental heart of Baruch College.
Planned renovations for the Field Building will ensure that 17 Lex joins the other College buildings as a model environment for twenty-first century education. This multiphase project puts a strong emphasis on sustainability, as the renovated 17 Lex ultimately aims to attain a LEED Silver designation from the US Green Building Council. For more information, please review the 17 Lex Phase 1a Status and Phase 2 Scope for The Lawrence and Eris Field Building.
Features of Phase 1A
After breaking ground in Spring 2017, the first phase of the years-long renovation project is expected to last until Spring 2020.
- Completely reconfigured Lexington Avenue entrance and lobby, including a new glass front that lets natural light spill into an airy, accessible, and inviting space
- A temporary lobby on 23rd street with security desk and exterior ADA ramp
- Modernized elevators
- Demolition of a portion of the basement to lower the floor level to create new mechanical space
- Mechanical Upgrades including the installation of a new mechanical plant, chillers, boilers, air handling units, and a cooling tower
- Upgraded Con Edison electrical vault at 23rd Street and Lexington Avenue that will provide greater electrical capacity for campus’ needs
- New emergency electrical panels and associated closets throougout the building and electrical conduit stub-outs for future electrical loads
- Building entrance accessibility in compliance with ADA (American Disabilities Act) standards
- Public safety improvements with the installation of turnstiles in the Lobby
- New 30,000 gallon fire reserve tank and 7,780 gallon suction tank
Renovating 17 Lex was first envisioned in a 2008 master plan for the College. Architectural designs were started soon thereafter and was developed to include six phases. Phase 1 construction officially started in 2017 and the remaining phases are awaiting funding.
"This long-awaited renovation will make the lives of students, faculty, and staff easier; maximize energy efficiency; and enable the Field Building at 17 Lex to be an even better neighbor to the Flatiron/Gramercy Park community. Baruch College deserves a state-of-the-art building that will thrive far into the 21st century." – Mitchel B. Wallerstein, President, Baruch College
The Importance of Preservation
The Field Building remains a crucial part of the distinguished Gramercy neighborhood. Nearly nine decades ago, the building was praised during its construction by the New York Times as "the largest structure anywhere devoted to the teaching of up-to-date business methods." It is important, therefore, to preserve the building's historic details. Already the original lighting fixtures flanking the Lexington Avenue entrance have been meticulously restored and relocated to 23rd Street, and most architectural details of the façade will remain whole.
At one time, virtually every College activity—academic and extracurricular—took place under 17 Lex's roof, prompting the nickname "College in a Box." To this day, it accommodates 4,000 students, faculty, and staff members each semester. Its renovation is needed to ensure that it remains relevant and well equipped for generations of future students.