North Building, Hunter College
The North Building at Hunter College was built between 1937 and 1940, using funds from the Public Works Administration (PWA). It lies between 68th and 69th Streets along Park Avenue. FDR dedicated the building on October 1940 and in his speech he recounted the story of how Mayor LaGuardia asked for the funding.
North Building’s designer was the firm of Shreve, Lamb & Harmon, in consultation with Harrison & Fouilhoux. Wallace Harrison had already designed Radio City Music Hall and the auditorium in Hunter’s building, though much simpler, bears a related design If the façade appears familiar, the main designers also built the Empire State Building.
Like the famous skyscraper, North Building set records in its day, with a capacity for 5,600 students in 112 classrooms, four gyms, an auditorium and a swimming pool. It is the largest structure of the Hunter College campus.
On the East 68th Street wall of the North Building, the school’s commitment to diversity of ideas is captured by a Ralph Waldo Emerson quote: “We are of different opinions at different hours but we always may be said to be at heart on the side of truth.”
Project originally submitted by Deborah Gardner on February 27, 2017.
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