Building a Better Campus
A revitalized One Pace Plaza and 41 Park Row support student success.
Bright, visible, modern, welcoming—these are just some of the words used by the Pace community to describe the new spaces on the New York City campus unveiled this semester. After eighteen months of renovation, Phase I of the University’s Master Plan is complete, and as Setters settle into the new facilities, they’re discovering an array of student- and faculty-friendly advancements that improve daily life and reflect the incredible work ethic of the Pace community.
A Gallery with a View
The crown jewel of the revitalized 41 Park Row sits at the foot of the building in the form of a shiny, new 1,700-square-foot art gallery. Its ground-level, corner location offers unprecedented visibility and exposure, and gives students, faculty, and outside artists a chic place to show off their projects. Directly across from New York City Hall and City Hall Park, the heavily trafficked area is rife with curious eyes peeking through the floor-to-ceiling windows, and the space is open to the public.
“The visibility is my favorite part—the gallery is an exciting new public face to Pace and the Art Department,” said Professor Jillian McDonald, department co-chairperson. “Our previous galleries, the Fingesten Gallery and the Pace Digital Gallery, were in a basement and on a staircase, and although we curated nonstop exhibitions in both spaces for more than a decade, there were insurmountable accessibility issues for the public.”
The space will be home to curated work from students, faculty, and artists outside of Pace. A recent exhibition, Rosy-Fingered Dawn, featured the work of twelve external artists in multiple media, including sculpture, painting, photography, and performance. It has since made way for a juried open show and a Pace senior project show. The gallery will even be utilized by The Confucius Institute at Pace to host the New York Concerti Sinfonietta on April 25, 2019. The gallery has become a space for collaboration, celebration, and learning. It supports all media, and includes screens in the entry area of 41 Park Row, and a projection wall in the lower level student lounge that displays digital photos and video, and there will be further opportunities for students to have internships, and learn the business of curating and running an art gallery.
“The gallery benefits students because it’s theirs,” said McDonald. “Not just art students, but everyone can participate in programming, visit exhibitions, and attend events held at the gallery.”
Already, the curiosity and enthusiasm surrounding the addition of the new gallery has offered unprecedented opportunities for students. The Art Department envisions it as a cultural and social hub for the university, poised to show off the inspirational work students and faculty have been creating for decades, and evidence has shown success, with notably larger and more diverse attendance at the recent exhibitions.
A Suite New Space for Advising
Advising Team (l-r) Seanna Wright, Ahlin Min, Katie Olsen, Nicole Gilman, Hannah Holloway.
On the second floor of 41 Park Row, the all-new Dyson Advising Suite is more easily accessible than ever via the open main entrance staircase or a very short elevator ride. It features a bright, comfortable lobby area with inviting views of City Hall Park, and serves as the new home to five Dyson College academic advisors, previously located on the sixteenth floor.
“The new space is very modern, and the large windows and glass walls allow for so much natural light—it’s a nice touch and makes the space feel more welcoming,” said Seanna Wright, Dyson academic advisor.
The open design reflects the commitment to students that Dyson advisors have. “We have always wanted to convey how helpful we are to students, and now our environment matches our objective,” said Katie Olsen, associate director of advising. “We have increased our staff, we’re doing more direct outreach to students, and in turn we are seeing more of them.” She is pleased that all their hard work is paying off, and that when students visit the new offices, they can feel welcomed and comfortable connecting with them.
A Place for Students and Faculty
A major goal of the renovation was creating new, student-centered spaces for both independent work and collaboration. Since January 28, when Dyson College Dean Nira Herrmann officially cut the ribbon at 41 Park Row, members of the Dyson College community have been exploring the new offerings there and across the courtyard in One Pace Plaza. Pace’s central hub has been revitalized with a new student center awash in natural light and new study-pods. Back inside 41 Park Row, there are tables, chairs, meeting areas, and quiet places for students to meet and study on the easily accessible B-Level and outside the advising suite on the second floor (pictured above).
Dyson student Erik Mayerson ’22, uses these new lounge spaces to study and focus on assignments. He says that the school has changed significantly since he visited last year as a prospective student, “I had no gauge of what the school actually looked like,” he said, “but I was pleasantly surprised.” Emilio Tamez ’22, Modern Languages and Cultures, agreed. “The school had a complete glow-up,” he said. “This is the type of space I would expect a good school to have available for students.”
Additionally, the B-level is home to a new suite dedicated to adjunct faculty, which includes desktop computer stations, a printer, a pantry with food preparation space, and a private conference room.
Improved Ingress and Egress
The main entrance to 41 Park Row, has moved—or returned—to Spruce Street, a restoration of the original building entrance when 41 Park Row was home to the New York Times. The new “Dyson entrance” is directly adjacent to One Pace Plaza, making travel between the two buildings much more intuitive. Additionally, the new lobby provides improved flow and an open elevator area, which greatly reduces crowding.
One Pace Plaza’s entirely redesigned entrance (pictured above) has been similarly improved for easier access, and both buildings now feature modernized security features such automated turnstiles and permanently staffed security stations. For decades, Pace has held a reputation for providing a safe, secure environment for students, and these new features provide enhanced convenience and continued peace-of-mind.
All told, the revitalized spaces with large windows and open-concept format are expected to connect Pace to New York City and the local downtown community for years to come. At the official ribbon cutting, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer commented that the new space “opens up new possibilities for students and faculty to collaborate and for all New Yorkers to benefit.”
Dyson Dean Nira Herrmann, PhD, echoes many of the sentiments that have come from the Pace and New York City communities. “We are thrilled with the new spaces in 41 Park Row that are enriching the lives of our students as well as the entire Pace community and surroundings,” she said. “The renovations have given our nineteenth century building a new twenty-first century spark while preserving its historical foundation.”