Commentary, Greenwich Village

NYU’s back door problem

New York University has bought a lot of old buildings in the Washington Square area, and built a bunch of new ones.  This is a great example of adaptive reuse and infill development, better than building satellite campuses.  It’s not like they haven’t tried the suburban campus thing before: Bronx Community College occupies their old main campus, and Hofstra University was originally a branch of NYU.

Unfortunately, NYU hasn’t figured out how to integrate itself well at the street level.  The old stores, factories and apartments it replaced had multiple street entrances, but entrances are expensive to guard, so NYU only has one or two per building.  In some buildings there is street-level retail, often aimed at students and faculty, but many more have no entrances or windows.  You can see this in the above photo, looking west on Third Street, away from Washington Square Village.

grvsmth (Author)

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