New York City (January 22, 2004) - The New York University School of Law will celebrate the opening on Thursday, January 22, 2004 of Furman Hall, its first new academic building in more than 50 years. The nine-story red brick building, which includes much-needed classroom space, student meeting areas, the Law School clinical program, faculty and administrative offices and faculty residences, is located at 245 Sullivan Street, south of Washington Square Park.
The dedication commences at 6 p.m. in the new building. Dinner follows at 7:30 in the Main Reading Room of the Law Library. A program of honored speakers follows dinner. Tours of the new building conclude the festivities. For a press reservation, please contact Joan M. Dim at 212.998.6849.
HONORING JAY FURMAN—-NOTED ALUMNUS, BUSINESSMAN AND PHILANTHROPIST The naming of the new building honors Jay Furman, who received his J.D. in 1971 from the Law School. Mr. Furman, a longtime friend and supporter of the Law School, is a Trustee and Weinfeld Patron. As a Trustee, he serves as a member of the Budget and Executive Committees. He also chairs the Building Committee and was instrumental in supporting the management and construction of the new building.
Mr. Furman is a principal at RD Management Corp., one of the nation’s largest privately held real estate development and management organizations. The company’s portfolio consists of more than 200 shopping centers. Prestigious tenants include Home Depot, Kmart, Wal-Mart, Sears, Target and JC Penney.
A DEDICATION TINGED WITH HISTORY AND NOSTALGIA Richard Revesz, Dean of the NYU School of Law, will lead the festivities, which replicates the dedication on September 15, 1951 of Vanderbilt Hall—the Law School’s main academic building.
Internationally famous jurists, lawyers, educators, and laymen attended the Vanderbilt Hall dedication. Guests included:
- John W. Davis, President of the NYC Bar Association
- Roscoe Pound, Dean Emeritus of Harvard Law School
- Arthur T. Vanderbilt, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New Jersey and Dean Emeritus of NYU School of Law
- Sir Francis Raymond Evershed, The Master of the Rolls of England.
Participants in tonight’s program will offer discourse on precisely the same topics that their predecessors did more than 50 years ago at Vanderbilt Hall’s dedication. Participants include:
- A.Thomas Levin, President of the New York State Bar Association, will offer a welcome.
- Elena Kagan, Dean of Harvard Law School, will speak on “Law Education in a Unifying World.”
- Richard Revesz will speak on “The Mission of a Law Center.”
- The Right Honourable The Lord Slynn of Hadley, Law Lord, House of Lords, will speak on “Our Common Heritage of Law.”
“As we celebrate the opening of our new addition to the Law School,” said Dean Revesz, “we also celebrate our history and achievements. More than five decades ago, Dean Emeritus Arthur T. Vanderbilt nurtured a vision and saw it come alive when he moved the Law School, then known as the Law Center, from two upper floors of a factory building to Vanderbilt Hall. Another great Law School Dean, John Sexton, now NYU President, had his own visions of NYU. Among them was the establishment of a modern law school campus that would provide generous spaces for students, faculty and programs. Today, we also celebrate the realization of John Sexton’s magnificent vision.”
FIRST MAJOR GROUNDBREAKING AFTER 9/11 The building’s opening echoes another historical marker for both the Law School and New York City-this one bittersweet. The groundbreaking for the new building took place on September 28, 2001. Just seventeen days after September 11th, it was the first major construction groundbreaking in the city following the tragedy. Importantly, the Law School’s decision to maintain its construction schedule boldly underscored its commitment to the future growth of New York City.
On that day three years ago, John Sexton spoke to a somber gathering and said:
“This project affirms our commitment to prepare our students to seek justice through law. With it, we also reaffirm our University’s resolute commitment to a great city. We build our Law School’s future, as our city must rebuild for its future, on a foundation of justice, the bedrock of our republic.”
Also present on that memorable occasion was U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, a frequent visitor to the Law School, who has played, said Dean Sexton, “an especially important role in the evolution of NYU as the world’s first truly global law school.”
Justice O’Connor spoke passionately about the rule of law.
“The need for lawyers does not diminish in times of crisis,” said Justice O’Connor. “It only increases. New York University School of Law has played, and will continue to play, an important role in training lawyers who understand the need to convince a sometimes hostile world that our dream of a society that conforms to the rule of law is a dream we all should share.”
FACTS ABOUT THE NEW BUILDING The new building is located on West Third Street between Sullivan and Thompson streets, south of Washington Square Park. It totals 170,000 gross square feet. The building’s architect is Kohn Pederson Fox Associates PC.
Classrooms, seminar rooms, moot courtrooms, student meeting areas and group study rooms occupy the lower floors.
A café and student lounge face West Third Street at street level. The new building also connects by a below-street-level walkway to Vanderbilt Hall.
The Global Law Center, founded in 1994 and a recognized leader in research and teaching on issues of international law, occupies the third floor.
Administrative offices are located on the 4th floor. Located on floors 5-6 is the Law School’s renowned clinical program, which gives some 150 second- and third-year Law School students faculty-supervised, hands-on experience working on a variety of civil and criminal cases.
Faculty housing is on floors 7-9 and is reached via a separate entrance on Thompson Street. On the 9th floor is a large and handsome space reserved for colloquia and other uses.
WORKING WITH THE COMMUNITY
The NYU School of Law worked with the Greenwich Village community and with citywide preservation groups to achieve a design that integrates the new academic building with the surrounding community.
Specifically, the profile of the new building is maintained at a sufficiently low height (128 feet from street level to the last occupied floor) so that blue sky will continue to be seen behind the campanile of the historic Judson Hall, which is owned by New York University and houses the King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center. At Thompson Street, the building rises only 38 feet from street level and then be set back 20 feet, in order to harmonize with the street wall.
Reconstructed elements of two historic buildings that previously occupied the building site were incorporated into the new building’s façade. They are: the façade of the Judson House, renovated by the renowned architectural firm of McKim, Mead and White in 1899, and the façade of a typical row house from the 1830s located on West Third Street and noted for its occupation by Edgar Allan Poe during approximately six months in 1845-46. Artifacts from that row house are incorporated into a space commemorating Poe’s life and work in the new building. The Law School permits public access to this commemorative space on a regular, scheduled basis.
THE NYU SCHOOL OF LAW
Founded in 1835, NYU School of Law has an enrollment of more than 2,000 students and a full-time faculty of approximately 115. The Law School confers J.D., L.L.M. and J.S.D. degrees. Current Law School buildings include Vanderbilt Hall and two student residences, D’Agostino Residence Hall and Mercer Residence Hall.
John Sexton, now President of NYU, initiated the construction of the new building. He served as Dean of NYU School of Law from 1988-2002.