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NYU Files Application for Fourth Tower on Landmarked University Village Site

October 7, 2010
N-68, 2010-11

NYU is today filing an application with the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) to seek approval to introduce a new tower within the landmarked University Village (Silver Towers) site.  The proposal has emerged from an extensive design and planning process and is considered a preferable option to building on a site immediately adjacent to the landmarked area, currently occupied by a Morton Williams supermarket.

Design plans for the new building were released earlier this year. Adding a fourth tower to the landmarked site has been among the proposals in NYU 2031: NYU in NYC, the University’s strategy for future growth.  

NYU Sr. Vice President Lynne Brown said, “In the months since we released the NYU 2031 Strategy and unveiled the design, we have continued to refine our thinking, and are now ready to officially begin review of the project by public agencies.  While the University’s project will not begin the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) until 2011, findings by LPC will clarify whether we proceed with our preferred scenario or the alternative. This is an extra step in the approvals process, but one that is worth taking.”

Originally the University had considered building on the existing supermarket site, which it owns. However, the NYU design team, which includes Grimshaw Architects, Toshiko Mori Architect and Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, proposed shifting the building mass onto the landmarked site in an effort to best accentuate the current I.M. Pei design.

“The option we are presenting to the LPC will add to the 'dynamic' pinwheel arrangement of the buildings, preserve clear view corridors, frame the 'Bust of Sylvette' sculpture, and anchor the fourth corner of the site with green space,” said Mark Husser, principal architect at Grimshaw Architects.

City approvals for this particular site start with the Landmarks Preservation Commission as the Pei site was landmarked in 2008, a decision that was supported by NYU, and include Manhattan Community Board #2 (which has an advisory role). Following the Community Board vote, the Commission will conduct at least one hearing and make a final deciding vote.

Ultimately, a full Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) will be needed for the approval of the entire NYU superblock proposal.  NYU will file a standardized Land Use Review Application with the Department of City Planning under the ULURP in 2011.  The Landmarks Commission’s decision about the appropriateness of inserting a fourth tower onto the landmarked site will determine what is ultimately filed in the ULURP.  Depending on the Commission’s ruling that application will contain a proposed tower on the landmarked site or a building on the nearby Morton Williams location.

For additional information about NYU’s submission to the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, please go to

About NYU 2031: NYU in NYC 

NYU 2031: NYU in NYC, is a strategic framework for growth, aiming to be a thoughtful, comprehensive, city-wide vision for thinking about how to keep the University moving forward academically while respecting the communities and the city in which we make our home. For more information about NYU 2031 please log onto  

About New York University

New York University is located in the heart of Greenwich Village. Founded in 1831, it is one of America’s foremost research universities and a member of the selective Association of American Universities.  It is one of the largest private universities, it is a leader in attracting international students and scholars in the U.S, and it sends more students to study abroad than any other U.S. college or university.  Through its 14 schools and colleges, NYU conducts research and provides education in the arts and sciences, law, medicine, business, dentistry, education, nursing, the cinematic and performing arts, music and studio arts, public administration, social work, and continuing and professional studies, among other areas.

This Press Release is in the following Topics:
NYUToday-feature, Planning & Construction, NYU 2031

Type: Press Release

Press Contact: John Beckman | (212) 998-6848

NYU Files Application for Fourth Tower on Landmarked University Village Site; Launching the First Step in its Overall Approvals Process for its Washington Square Facilities

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