Downtown warehouse to be a focal point for Syracuse University and community programs
Downtown warehouse to be a focal point for Syracuse University and community programsMarch 24, 2005Nicci Brownnicbrown@syr.edu
The former Dunk & Bright warehouse, located at the western edge of Armory Square, will become a focal point for experience-based learning and mission-based activities that will build natural connections between the daily life of the Syracuse University campus and the City of Syracuse.
Speaking at the March 23 annual meeting of the Metropolitan Development Association, SU Chancellor Nancy Cantor unveiled conceptual drawings of the warehouse renovation, which will be done by internationally renowned design firm, Gluckman Mayner Architects. The firm is headed by SU alumnus Richard Gluckman ’70, G’71, who also serves on the SU School of Architecture’s Board of Advisors. Gluckman, whose work includes the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh and Berlin’s Deutsche Guggenheim, will personally oversee the project.
Plans call for the warehouse to meet short-term needs for the School of Architecture, beginning in early 2006 during the renovation of Slocum Hall on the main University campus, as well as the long-term needs of Architecture’s “UPSTATE: an institute for city and regional design.” The warehouse will also serve the needs of the College of Visual and Performing Arts by providing studio space for the Communications Design and Advertising Design programs. In addition, the Goldring Arts Journalism Program, established recently in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, will have its downtown base of operations at the warehouse.
“For the students in these programs, a downtown presence, juxtaposed to the many businesses and cultural centers they are studying, affords a priceless educational edge,” Cantor says. “But just as important is the creative and collaborative space this project will provide for the community as a whole.”
Of the six floors of the facility scheduled for the first phase of renovation, one-fifth of the available space has been committed to public and community use.
Key components include:
- A prominently located community gallery to showcase the work of local artists and organizations, in addition to providing display space for local school district programs and competitions.
- A 125-seat auditorium for speakers and other programs. This “town hall” meeting space will provide a venue for public lectures, readings and talks.
- A program and space where the Cultural Resources Council can help link local artists to the academic resources of the University, such as business plans, design and advertising, arts journalism and others.
- A place for the University’s newest collaboration with the Everson Museum of Art-E-TAG (Everson Teen Art Gallery)-which will highlight local teenagers engaging with the arts.
- A centralized box office to better facilitate community access to the cultural events of the city and the University.
Cantor also described the University’s “Arts Wheel” project, which aims to fully engage SU with the cultural institutions of the City and its grassroots arts groups. Among the groups currently in discussion at the board and staff level with the University are:
- The Everson Museum of Art,
- The Landmark Theatre,
- The Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, and
- The Cultural Resources Council
Cantor also described plans to light the exterior of the warehouse building. The University is holding an invited-competition to select a winning concept for the project. It plans to “throw the switch” at a community-wide celebration at the end of summer 2005, when students return to campus.