Exterior of the John A. Paulson Center from Houston Street

One Building. Many Purposes.

Like NYU itself, the John A. Paulson Center at 181 Mercer does a lot. It fills a wide range of essential needs for NYU, providing state-of-the-art facilities in support of its prestigious educational and performing arts programs, sports and recreational facilities, student housing, and faculty housing.

More classrooms than any other NYU building, plus instructional, rehearsal, practice, and performance spaces for NYU's drama and music programs, including NYU's first professional-level proscenium, fly-loft theatre for student productions. Study space and a Commons for a university without a quad. A sports center that will be home for NYU's student/athletes and those looking to stay fit. Housing for freshmen. Housing for faculty. And dedicated space for the local community.


Academic space is the foremost building use, with nearly 40 percent of the square footage directed towards educational purposes.

Classrooms and Study Space

  • Fifty-eight new mid-size classrooms (approximately 25 students)
  • Common spaces that allow students to engage in group study or quiet individual study

Peforming Arts and Orchestra

  • A 350-seat proscenium theater with fly loft capabilities
  • Additional spaces for the dramatic and performing arts, including a space commemorating the African Grove Theatre
  • An orchestral rehearsal and performance room
  • Practice rooms for music majors to rehearse and refine their skills in an acoustically pristine and central location
Exterior of the Paulson Center showing the lower classroom levels

Bleeker street view of the lower classroom levels

Community and Connection

The Paulson Center is a building that will itself build community.

Looking up at the student housing tower from the Greene Walkway

Looking up at the student housing tower


  • The heart of the Paulson Center is the Commons
  • A gracious and lively open space on the second floor amidst the traffic flow, art, and dining, it encourages casual encounters and interactions that indelibly build a sense of community


  • New athletics facilities that include:
    • NCAA regulation basketball courts with technology to record and analyze game and practice videos
    • A six-lane pool
    • Fitness and weight rooms, squash courts, and an indoor track

Housing and Dining

  • A 400-bed residence hall for first-year students
  • Forty-two units of faculty housing
  • Two NYU Eats dining locations


In line with NYU’s commitment to sustainability, the Paulson Center is rated LEED Gold.  Based on the projected energy model, it will exceed the NYC Energy Conservation Code by more than 20%, a significant accomplishment for a large, mixed-use structure. 

Sustainable Features

  • Green roofs with gardens and terraces that, in addition to reducing stormwater run-off and cooling the building to minimize the urban heat island effect, offer outdoor communal space and promote urban biodiversity 
  • Facade and solar reduction strategies that reduce lighting needs and air conditioning loads, minimizing the building’s carbon footprint.  The custom fritted glass allows natural light while helping to regulate building temperature, and it also helps prevent bird strikes
  • Connection to NYU's cogeneration facility, providing higher efficiency heating and cooling to the Paulson Center while substantially reducing energy, greenhouse gasses, and pollutants
Ariel view looking down on the Paulson Center green roofs and the Greene Walkway

Ariel view of the Paulson Center green roofs and Greene Street Walkway


For general questions about the Paulson Center, please contact AskCampusServices@nyu.edu.