The New York City Board of Standards and Appeals has approved NYU’s proposed variance for its new Center for Academic and Spiritual Life, which will be built at 58 Washington Square South, at the corner of Thompson Street.
The University proposed a building that is shorter, squatter, and that foregoes more than 20 percent of its allowable square footage in order to achieve a building that is contextual, is sensitive to its important place on Washington Square Park, and preserves blue sky as one looks through the Washington Square Arch. NYU therefore applied for a zoning variance to enable it to maintain larger floor plates throughout the site, which are indispensable for meeting the programmatic requirements for the planned religious worship, full orchestral practices, and other academic needs.
The Board awarded the variance and approved the massing proposed by NYU.
Alicia Hurley, NYU’s Vice President for Government Relations and Community Engagement, said, “We are grateful for the Board’s thoughtful decision in this matter, for their acknowledgement that the programmatic needs justified the requested variance , and for their recognition of the important role this facility will play for the NYU and broader community.”
The Center will provide a communal home for NYU students' religious and spiritual lives. It will include spaces for religious observance, offices for NYU's Chaplains' Circle, classes, music rehearsals, and conferences, and will include ground-floor space for an ongoing Catholic presence. The Center is expected to be completed in the summer of 2012.
For updates on the Center, please visit the NYU Construction website.
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