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Guide to the Architectural plans and drawings for the New School at 66 West Twelfth Street, 1924-1986

 1924-1986 (bulk 1930, 1955-1959)

Collection Overview


New School Collections

Collection Identifier



New School (New York, N.Y.).

Creator - Architect

Urban, Joseph, 1872-1933


New School Architectural plans and drawings for 66 West Twelfth Street, 1924-1986 (bulk 1930-1959), (Bulk, 1930-1959)


32 linear ft: 1 box, 8 oversize boxes (rolled drawings), 3 drawers of flat files


Originally located in six renovated brownstones on West 21st Street in New York City, The New School for Social Research reopened in 1931 in a newly constructed building at 66 West Twelfth Street in Greenwich Village. The seven-story structure, designed by architect and theatrical designer Joseph Urban (1872-1933), was the first of what would eventually become a three-building complex at the site. The collection consists of design and construction drawings documenting Joseph Urban's original building at 66 West Twelfth Street, construction drawings for the expanded campus in the 1950s, and a small number of plans representing other periods of renovation and expansion at the site.

Preferred Citation note

[Identification of item], [date (if known)], 66 West Twelfth Street architectural plans and drawings, NS.09.01.01, box __, folder __, Archives and Special Collections, The New School, New York, New York.

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Historical and Biographical Notes

For the first decade of its existence, the New School for Social Research operated out of six renovated brownstones on West 21st Street in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City. In 1931, the school moved to a more central location at 66 West Twelfth Street. The seven-story structure was a new construction designed by architect and theatrical designer Joseph Urban (1872-1933). Celebrated by some as the first example of International Style architecture in the United States, 66 West Twelfth was first in a future three-building complex at the site. In 1968, the school's Graduate Faculty expanded into a renovated department store at 65 Fifth Avenue, and since then the school has leased and acquired other sites in the area. The 66 West Twelfth Street complex still functions as the heart of the campus.

In 1930, Alvin Saunders Johnson (1874-1971)--co-founder of the New School for Social Research in 1919 and leader of the institution from 1922 through 1945--arranged for the purchase of three adjoining lots that, together with a fourth added soon afterwards, combined to form the footprint for a new structure. Situated close to multiple transportation hubs, the school's new home afforded Johnson the opportunity to express the school's mission to provide an environment for the exercise of free inquiry and egalitarian learning in a physical structure that also supported the needs of a busy adult student population. Charles and Albert Mayer--brothers to New School trustee Clara Woolie Mayer--introduced Johnson to architect Joseph Urban, who accepted Johnson's challenge. (The Mayer family held a long association with the New School. Clara came as a student in 1919 and stayed for many years, first as a trustee and eventually as vice president, dean of the School of Philosophy and Liberal Arts, and dean of The New School. Clara's brother, Charles, served as engineer on New School building projects for four decades, including the original building. The family also contributed $100,000 toward the 1930 building and the auditorium was originally named for their father, real estate developer and philanthropist Bernhard Mayer. And, in the 1950s, Albert's firm would serve as principal architect on the expansion project.)

When Urban's building on West Twelfth Street opened in 1931, the exterior--its black and white brick interspersed with bands of uninterrupted windows accenting the building's horizontal lines--stood in marked contrast to the nineteenth century brownstones surrounding it. The building received a great deal of attention in the press and among architects and critics. Hailed by some as a paragon of modernist architecture, an achievement of form meshed with function, and the first example of International Style architecture in the United States, detractors noted that while the building incorporated modernist design elements, especially in its façade, the interior did not reflect the design principles or philosophy associated with the International Style.

The auditorium and lobby were the most dramatic spaces in the new building. Johnson had stressed his wish for Urban to find an architectural solution in the auditorium that would encourage easy interaction between lecturers and students. Urban responded with an egg-shaped space that, with its wide, arched bands and soft, reflected light, produced a strikingly intimate space that downplayed the distance between stage and spectator.

With the design of 66 West Twelfth Street underway, Alvin Johnson invited two artists to paint murals in the building. José Clemente Orozco (1883-1949) created five thematically-linked frescoes, which covered all four walls of a general dining room on the fifth floor, as well as the wall outside the room's entrance. (The floors were renumbered following the expansion project in the 1950s; at this time the fifth floor became the seventh.) The nine panels of Thomas Hart Benton's murals, created in egg tempera, were located in the Board of Directors' room on the third floor. While the 1950s expansion saw the space converted to a classroom, Benton's murals remained in place until 1984, when they were sold to the Equitable Life Assurance Society. Orozco's mural cycle has undergone two major restorations since its creation. It still resides in its original space, renamed the Orozco Room and no longer as a dining hall, but primarily for meetings and special events.

After World War II, an influx of new students created a pressing need for more space, and by 1953 the school, now under the direction of Hans Simons, had initiated a campaign to raise the $2.5 million that would ultimately triple the campus size. Designed by Albert Mayer of Mayer, Whittlesey & Glass, construction took place between 1956 and 1959. One of the two new buildings attached directly to the original 66 West Twelfth Street building, and the other faced Eleventh Street and was connected to the others by a sculpture courtyard and footbridge above. The new buildings were named the Jacob M. Kaplan Building (West Twelfth Street) and the Albert A. List Building (West Eleventh Street) for the trustees largely responsible for funding their construction. When the complex opened, the original building at 66 West Twelfth was christened the Alvin Johnson Building.

In 1968, the New School's Graduate Faculty offices and classrooms were moved into a large renovated department store at 65 Fifth Avenue and Fourteenth Street. By the 1980s, the Albert A. List Building had become the home for the New School's four-year liberal arts undergraduate program, Eugene Lang College. Today, while the campus has expanded to a number of other sites, the New School still occupies the Eleventh and Twelfth Street complex. Urban's original auditorium and lobby at 66 West Twelfth Street were landmarked in 1993, and continue to be used for university events and public programs. The 66 West Twelfth Street complex remains a core part of the university, home to academic departments, classrooms, and administrative offices, including the offices of the President and Provost.

* * *

Austrian-born Joseph Urban (1872-1933) built a flourishing career as a young architect in Vienna, while also establishing a reputation as a children's book illustrator and, importantly, as a theatrical designer. In 1911, Urban immigrated to the United States to become art director for the Boston Opera. When the company folded in 1914, he moved to New York City and began designing productions for the Ziegfeld Follies and the Metropolitan Opera, among many others. Urban gained particular reknown for his skill in manipulating color and light to produce striking emotional effects in a space. (Rosco Laboratories named a stage lighting filter after the designer that is still in use: Roscolux Urban Blue #81.) Only a few of Joseph Urban's buildings remain standing in the United States. These include Mar-A-Lago, in Palm Beach, Florida; the base of the Hearst Tower in New York City; and 66 West Twelfth Street. Urban died just two years after completing the New School building.

* * *

Albert Mayer (1897-1981), a civil engineer, architect, and city planner, was principal of the firm responsible for renovations to the original building at 66 West Twelfth Street in the 1940s, and in the the 1950s was architect for the two new buildings adjacent to 66 West Twelfth Street and for further renovations to the original building. Mayer earned his engineering degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1919, and later went on to become a registered architect. He worked with his brother as engineering contractor for the original New School building in 1930, later becoming a lead member of an architectural workshop and discussion group held at the New School. Mayer went on to found the Housing Study Guild with Henry Wright and Lewis Mumford, and was deeply engaged throughout his life with the relationship between physical structures and the community around them, with a particular focus on public housing. During the period in which Mayer worked on the New School building project in the 1950s, he was also involved in national and international urban planning and housing projects, including completing a decade of work as an advisor on a rural development project in India. Later in life, Mayer was recognized for his pioneering work in applying the principles of social research to urban development issues.


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Scope and Content of Collection

The 66 West Twelfth Street Architectural Plans and Drawings consist of design and construction drawings documenting Joseph Urban's original building project for the New School at 66 West Twelfth Street in New York's Greenwich Village, as well as plans from later periods of renovation and expansion at the site, including the addition of two adjacent buildings to form a three-building complex in the 1950s. The collection is arranged in four series, each representing a distinct period of construction at the New School.

Series I. Original Construction (Joseph Urban, Architect), 1927-1931 contains drawings for the original Joseph Urban-designed building, which opened in 1931, and represents the largest group of plans in the collection. While mostly consisting of blueprints by the architect, some original design and construction drawings are present, as well as a number of drawings by the contractor and subcontractors. Where original drawings are present, it is noted within the inventory below.

The largest subseries, Construction, consists of plans and drawings, beginning with a set of floor plans for all floors, then sections of the entire building, followed by drawings arranged alphabetically largely by location in the building. When only details are available related to a particular location, these are sometimes found within the Details and elements subseries. The Details and elements subseries also includes drawings where a single page depicts details related to more than one floor or area of the building. Titles here are often identical to the title as written on the plan; in some cases, however, titles have been supplied to help provide a clear sense of what may be found on a particular drawing.

Series II. Alterations to original building (Mayer and Whittlesey Architects), 1939-1940, 1950, represents two periods of renovation and alterations to the original building. All of the drawings in this series consist of construction blueprints and are arranged chronologically by period of alteration.

Series III. Expansion project (Mayer, Whittlesey and Glass Architects), 1955-1959. The second largest group of materials in the collection, this series is comprised of drawings documenting the construction of the two new buildings built adjacent to the original site, as well as alterations made to the original building to form the three-building complex. All drawings in this series consist of reproductions--largely in the form of construction blueprints. There are no design drawings in this series.

Series IV. Later alterations and additions, 1962, 1966-1969, 1986. The proposals and plans in this series were produced by various architects for upgrades to the three-building complex. Both proposals and executed projects are present. Arranged chronologically by period of alteration.

The collection includes almost no correspondence (there are two letters in Series IV regarding proposed alterations to the auditorium). Neither does the collection include presentation drawings or photographs of either the original 66 West Twelfth Street building or of the later buildings. Almost no mention is made within the materials of the murals that were created at the time the original building was under construction. See the Related Materials note below to find sources of information on the murals, as well as for presentation drawings, photographs, fundraising and promotional documents, reports, and other materials related to the 66 West Twelfth Street complex.


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Organization and Arrangement

Organized in four series:

  1. Original construction (Joseph Urban, Architect), 1929-1931
  2. Alterations to original building (Mayer & Whittlesey Architects), 1939-1940, 1950
  3. Expansion project (Mayer, Whittlesey & Glass Architects), 1955-1959
  4. Later alterations and additions, 1962, 1966-1969, 1986

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

New School Collections - October 2012

66 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY, 10011

Preferred Citation note

[Identification of item], [date (if known)], 66 West Twelfth Street architectural plans and drawings, NS.09.01.01, box __, folder __, Archives and Special Collections, The New School, New York, New York.

Access Restrictions

Original plans and drawings unavailable if digitized. For access to records available in digital form, researchers must consult the digitized versions, which are publicly accessible online. Researchers wishing to consult the original plan or drawing should write to archivist@newschool.edu, stating the reason for the request.

Use Restrictions

To publish images of material from this collection, permission must be obtained in writing from the New School Archives and Special Collections. Please contact: archivist@newschool.edu

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred to the Kellen Design Archives (later, New School Archives & Special Collections), from the Department of Facilities Management, 2009.

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Related Materials

Columbia University's Rare Book & Manuscript Library Collections houses the Joseph Urban papers (http://findingaids.cul.columbia.edu), which document Urban's career and include nineteen watercolor and pencil renderings, as well as photographs, for the 66 West Twelfth Street project.

The papers of architect Albert Mayer reside at the University of Wyoming's American Heritage Center (http://rmoa.unm.edu), and a collection related to his planning project in India is located at the University of Chicago Library, Department of Special Collections (http://www.lib.uchicago.edu).

Photographs, promotional materials, and event announcements related to the 66 West Twelfth Street building and expansion projects may be found elsewhere in the New School Archives and Special Collections. In addition, the Archives has materials documenting Thomas Hart Benton's and José Clemente Orozco's murals created for 66 West Twelfth Street. For information, email archivist@newschool.edu.


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Keywords for Searching Related Subjects

Corporate Name(s)

  • Edward J. Hills Architects.
  • Mayer, Whittlesey and Glass.


  • Architects.

Personal Name(s)

  • Mayer, Albert , b. 1897


  • Alvin Johnson/J. M. Kaplan Hall.
  • Architecture.
  • College buildings.
  • Decoration and ornament, Architectural -- United States -- 20th century.
  • Eugene Lang Building.
  • Tishman Auditorium.
  • Universities and colleges -- New York (State) -- New York.
  • Vera List Courtyard.

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Other Finding Aids note

For selected item-level description and images from the 66 West Twelfth Street Architectural Plans and Drawings, see The New School Archives Digital Collections at http://digitalarchives.library.newschool.edu/index.php/Detail/collections/NS090101.

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Note on Terminology

Design drawings. Sketches made by the architect or by members of his team during the design phase of the project, generally before construction has begun.

Construction drawings. In this collection, the term refers to all measured working plans and drawings available for the project, including architectural plans and details.

Shop drawings. In this collection, refers to plans produced by contractors and specialty subcontractors, detailing materials and plans for building elements and infrastructure.

Full-color Presentation drawings. No presentation drawings are included in this collection--these may be found in the Joseph Urban papers at Columbia University.


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A number of print and electronic sources were consulted in the writing of this collection guide that may be of use to researchers investigating the history of the New School's campus. Please note that this is far from an exhaustive list of sources. Indeed, if you find useful sources that are not listed here and would like to share them, please e-mail archivist@newschool.edu so that we may include them in future editions of this guide.

Aronson, Arnold et al. "Architect of Dreams: The Theatrical Vision of Joseph Urban," published in conjunction with the exhibition of the same name held in the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University, New York, October 10-December 16, 2000. Accessed July 2, 2012. www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/eresources/archives/rbml/urban/architectOfDreams.

Johnson, Philip. “The Architecture of the New School,” Arts vol. 27, no. 6 (March 1931), 393-8.

New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. [Designation Report]. Accessed June 26, 2012. www.nyc.gov/html/lpc/downloads/pdf/reports/newschlint.pdf

Rutkoff, Peter M., and William B. Scott. New School: A History of The New School for Social Research. New York: The Free Press, 1986.

White, Norval, and Elliot Willensky. AIA Guide to New York City. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.


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Collection Inventory

Series I. Original construction (Joseph Urban Architect) 1924, 1927-1931 

Link to selected images from this series.  

This series contains plans created by Joseph Urban and/or his staff, working out of an office at 5 East 57th Street, as well as contractors and subcontractors, for the original New School building at 66 West Twelfth Street (later named the Alvin Johnson Building). The series consists of three subseries: Design; Construction; and Lettering, Signage, and Color Schemes.

The Design subseries consists of original pencil sketches and drawings studying aspects of the building's interior, including the auditorium, lobby, library, and classrooms, as well as an exterior elevation. The drawings are neither signed nor dated, but are assumed to have been made by Joseph Urban or his staff during the design phase of the project.

The Construction subseries--largely comprised of original drawings and blueprints of floor plans, details, and shop drawings--dominates the series. It is divided into four categories: Architectural drawings, Details and elements, Shop drawings, and Systems and structure. Where original drawings are present they are noted in the inventory beneath the title.

Lettering, signage and color schemes consist of full-scale plans of wall lettering for the building's exterior, lobby, and auditorium. Also included here are a very small number of plans regarding color schemes in parts of the building--the plans present here, however, are in black and white.


Box Folder


All sketches and drawings in this subseries are originals; most are graphite on tracing paper.

Box Folder
Axonometric drawings, probably 1930 

One is probably the fourth floor library and fifth floor exhibition area with double stairway; the other depicts multiple floors.

MC H 3 1
n_OSxx-1 4
Elevations of proscenium arch in auditorium 
OSxxx-5 2
Elevations of main lobby 

Walls around elevators are rendered in colored pencil.

n_OSxx-1 4
Perspectives of interior spaces 

Consists of sixteen small, measured perspective drawings in graphite. Some include the suggestion of design details, but most are spare line drawings. The drawings, unlabeled, depict lecture and seminar rooms, the dance studio in the basement, a rounded hallway (probably the lobby), and an area sectioned into small social areas termed "talkover niches" (this is the sole drawing that shows human figures inhabiting the space).

n_OSx-1 8
OSxxx-5 2
Perspective of building exterior 
OSxxx-5 2
Rough sketches of proscenium arch in auditorium 

Consists of two rough design sketches with notes about the proscenium and domed ceiling relative to the stage. It has not been determined whether these sketches were indeed made during the period when the original auditorium was designed, or were made at a later date.

n_OSxx-1 5


Architectural drawings consist of floor plans for most of the building, as well as sections, elevations, part-plans and details for rooms and areas within the building. The contractor for the 1930 building was J.H. Taylor Construction Company, which was run by the brothers, Charles and Albert Mayer.

Details and elements include clocks, doors, folding gates, furniture, kitchen equipment, radiator grilles, stairs, and windows. Many of these drawings depict elements that either apply to more than one area in the building, or that do not indicate which floor or room they were for.

Shop drawings are alphabetical by type, with subcontractors listed in parentheses.


Box Folder

Architectural drawings 

Box Roll
Floor plans (all floors) 

All floors are represented. Sixth floor plans depicts the apartment that Alvin Johnson had promised the prior owner, Daniel Cranford Smith, as part of the property sales agreement, with five bedrooms, a foyer, kitchen, pantry, living room, dining room, workroom, den, and conservatory. Penthouse plans designate art and sculpture studios, as well as three terraces. Roof plans indicate a vault light to one of the studios and water tank house.

OSxxx-1 1
Longitudinal and transverse sections of building 
MC H 3 3
Auditorium (ground floor): Plan, elevations, ceiling diagram, details 

The auditorium off the entrance lobby of 66 West Twelfth Street is an elegant, intimate space that seats 550. Circular rings on the domed ceiling, a curve at the back of the stage and at the front of the theater, and a prominent proscenium arch create a sense of unity and enclosure in the space. Ceiling lights hidden behind an inner ring reflect off an outer ring to create a glowing, diffused light. Lack of columns allow unobstructed views of the stage from all points in the room. The domed ceiling forms a hill, incorporated into the raked seating plan of the two larger classrooms in the center of the floor above. On the mezzanine, plans indicate an area outside the auditorium along the West Twelfth Street wall intended for “talk-over niches” (these informal social spaces were also used elsewhere in the building).

The auditorium, named originally for real estate developer Bernhard Mayer (1852-1929), was renamed in the 1990s for John L. Tishman of Tishman Realty & Construction. In 1993, a year after the auditorium was restored by the architectural firm of Prentice & Chan Ohlhausen, the New York City Landmarks Commission granted landmark status to 66 West Twelfth Street's first floor lobby and auditorium.

Includes some original drawings, including stage platform, proscenium arch, and auditorium "desk," with microphones, speakers, and other technical elements.

Includes some original drawings.


MC H 3 4
n_1 9
n_OSxx-1 5
OSx-1 1
OSxxx-1 2
OSxxx-5 3
Board Room at Third Floor (Thomas Hart Benton Room) 

Original drawings. The Benton Room is so named for the ten-panel mural cycle created by Thomas Hart Benton for the third floor boardroom. The boardroom was later converted into a classroom.

MC H 3 5
MC H 4 5
n_OSx-1 10
Classrooms: Plans, details 

Includes original drawings, one showing acoustical treatments.

MC H 3 5
OSx-1 2
OSxxx-5 3
Dance studio (basement): Plan, details 

Routinely referred to as the Recreation Room in the plans. Details include aluminum railings, brackets, and composition for steps. Includes some original drawings. A black and white diagram designating wall colors is found below in the subseries, "Lettering, signage and color schemes."

n_OSxx-1 5
OSxx-1 1
OSxxx-5 3
Director's office (third floor): Scheme for rubber flooring, pedestal for statue 

Consists of an original sketch of a statue and the color scheme (rendered in black and white) for flooring in Alvin Johnson's office.

n_OSx-1 10
OSxxx-5 3
Fifth floor (various rooms): Plans, elevations, details 

The fifth floor was devoted to exhibition space, a general dining room, and a private dining area for faculty. The floor plan shows the exhibition area wrapping around the double stairway that led to the library below. Includes some original drawings.

MC H 4 1
n_OSxx-1 6
OSxx-1 7
OSxxx-1 7
Kitchen layout (fifth floor): Partial plan 
n_OSx-1 10
Library stairs, desk, tables (fourth floor): Plans, details 

The library occupied the entire fourth floor. Behind the librarian’s desk in the center of the floor is a triangular wall of shelves formed by staircases on either side leading to the exhibition gallery above. Some time after the building was completed, complaints that noise from the fifth floor distracted those studying in the library, and the stairwells were closed off. The library was relocated to the List building during the 1950s expansion, and the fourth floor repurposed for classrooms and offices. Includes some original drawings.

MC H 4 2
OSxx-1 2
OSxxx-1 4-5
Lobby (ground floor): Plans, details 

Includes some original drawings.

MC H 4 3
OSxx-1 3
OSxxx-1 3
OSxxx-5 4
Mezzanine: Plans, sections, details 

Includes plans and revisions for "talk-over niches" outside the auditorium, as well as the mezzanine seating area and projection booth. Includes some original drawings.

MC H 4 4
n_2 5
OSxx-1 4
OSxxx-1 6
Reception room (third floor): Elevation, section, details 

Includes original drawing.

OSxx-1 5
OSxxx-5 4
Removable sidewalk slab over transfer room 

Original drawing.

n_2 5
Revisions to third and fourth floors, kitchen (fifth floor), and greenhouse (sixth floor) 

Includes original drawings.

OSx-1 3
OSxxx-5 4
Sound projector room (basement) details 

Includes original drawing.

OSxx-1 6
OSxxx-5 4
Third floor (various offices): Plans, elevations, details 

Plans depict third floor director's, secretary's and other offices, boardroom, reception hall, storerooms, bathrooms, and an apartment. Includes some original drawings.

MC H 4 5
OSxxx-1 8

Details and elements 

Box Folder
Box Roll

Includes original drawing.

1 1
OSxxx-5 1
Doors, folding gates, grilles 

Includes original drawings, with revisions and schedule.

MC H 5 3
n_OSx-1 10
n_OSxx-1 5
OSxx-2 1
OSxxx-5 1

Original drawings of chairs, benches, couches, desks, shelving, bookcases, cabinets, and tables for various areas of the building, including a couch with built-in ashtrays for the exhibition room specifying upholstery type and color.

MC H 5 4
n_OSxx-1 5
OSx-1 4
OSxxx-5 3
Isometric of three-way mitre 

Original drawing.

n_OSx-1 10
Lighting fixtures 
MC H 5 3
Windows and doors: Plans, details 

Includes window and door plans for fifth and six floor, two classrooms, and a skylight in the penthouse. Some original drawings.

1 6
MC H 5 5
n_OSx-1 10
n_OSxx-1 5
OSx-1 5
OSxxx-2 1

Shop drawings 

Subcontractors are noted in parentheses.

Box Roll
Folding gates (Booth-Melcharsky Iron Works) 
OSxxx-1 9
Kitchen equipment (Bramhall, Drake Co.) 
OSx-1 6
Lavatory doors (The Mills Company) 
OSxx-1 8
Lighting (Cox, Nostrand & Gunnison) 

Certain drawings here probably originated in Urban's office, not the subcontractor's.

1 2-3
OSx-1 7-8
OSxx-1 9-10
Radiator grilles (Booth-Melcharsky Iron Works) 
1 4
MC H 5 5
OSxxx-1 10
Reference drawings (possibly), 1924, 1927 

Consists of drawings that pre-date the 1930 project--these may have been used for reference.

OSxx-2 1
Sound projector and microphone in speaker's desk (Bludworth, Inc.) 
1 5

Structural and services drawings 

Box Roll
Box Folder
Electrical (Syska & Hennessey, consulting engineers) 
MC H 5 3
OSx-2 1
OSxxx-2 2-3
Foundation steel (Spencer, White & Printis Foundations) 
OSxxx-2 4
Heating, ventilation and plumbing (Syska & Hennessey, consulting engineers) 
OSx-2 2
OSxxx-2 5
OSxxx-5 1
Structural steel (Taylor Fichter Steel Construction Co.) 
OSxxx-2 6-7

Lettering, signage and color schemes 

Box Folder
Color diagram for circular room in basement (dance studio) 

Original pencil drawing with color areas indicated by name.

MC H 3 1
Color scheme for offices and classrooms (black and white stat) 
n_2 6

Consists of full-scale details of lettering for the numeral and school name on the exterior of the building, as well as the type alphabet and lettering for the memorial epitaph to Bernhard Mayer in the auditorium.

MC H 3 2
OSx-2 3

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Series II. Alterations to original building (Mayer & Whittlesey Architects) 1939-1940, 1950 

The plans in this series document two periods of alterations to the original building at 66 West Twelfth Street, the earliest of which reflect efforts to soundproof the library. The series is arranged chronologically.

Box Roll
Library soundproof partitions and doors (fourth floor): Details, 1939 

While the plans do not reflect the walling off of the double staircase to the fifth floor exhibition area to produce a quieter study environment in the library, this may be the period in which that work was done, as well.

OSxx-2 3
Auditorium gallery: Plan and details, 1940 
OSx-2 4
Floor plans: Floors 2, 3, 4, 6 and penthouse, 1950 
OSxxx-2 8
New steel above sixth floor (Charles Mayer, consulting engineer), 1950 
OSx-2 5

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Series III. Expansion Project (Mayer, Whittlesey & Glass Architects) 1955-1959 

This series documents the expansion project, designed by Albert Mayer's firm, Mayer, Whittlesey & Glass Architects, in which over the course of several years in the 1950s two new structures were built next to and behind the original building. Both buildings were named for the principal donors to the capital campaign: 69-76 West Twelfth Street was designated the Jacob M. Kaplan Building and 63-69 West Eleventh Street the Albert A. List Building. The original building at 66 West Twelfth was now named for Alvin Johnson, the school's influential president emeritus. In addition to the drawings for the new structures, the plans show many rooms in the original building renovated and repurposed for additional instructional and administrative space.

Plans pertaining to floors designated Intermediate “A” and “B” refer to the two levels above the first floor of the Kaplan Building, which abutted the two-story high auditorium in the Johnson building. Because the Intermediate “B”' ceiling was higher than the Johnson building ceiling, each floor above "B" in the Kaplan Building rises slightly higher than its corresponding floor in Johnson. Intermediate "A" and "B" floors were later renamed the second and third floors, respectively, shifting all floor numbers above them up by two in both the Johnson and Kaplan Buildings.

Plans indicate the transformation of the library on the fourth floor of the Johnson Building into classrooms and offices (the library was relocated to the first and second floors of the List Building). Plans for the penthouse of the Johnson building show that the art studio space was converted to office space; the apartment on the sixth floor was also refigured as office space.

The series consists wholly of construction plans for the three building complex. All plans are blueprints or another form of reproduction--there are no design drawings and no original drawings. Except for floor plans, listed first in the Architectural drawings subseries, all work is alphabetical by subject.


Box Folder

Architectural drawings 

Box Roll
Floor plans (all floors) 
OSxxx-2 9
Bridge and courtyard: Plans, elevations, details 

The courtyard and sculpture garden was carved out between the Kaplan and List Buildings. Above the courtyard, the bridge connects the Kaplan and List Buildings along the second and third floors. Of note is a plan for the layout of the courtyard depicting benches, tree pits, planting areas, sculpture placement and staircases.

OSxxx-3 1
Exterior: Elevations, sections, details 
OSxxx-3 2
Furniture layout, List building: Plans 
OSxx-2 4
Kitchen and pantry (second and third floors): Plans, elevations, details 
OSxxx-3 3
Lobby (first floor): Plans, elevations, details 
OSxxx-3 4
Toilet rooms (A and B units): Plans, elevations 
OSxxx-3 5

Details (miscellaneous) 

Box Roll

Includes iron, convector, interior, door and buck, and other miscellaneous details.

OSxxx-3 6
Finish and door schedules 
OSxxx-3 7
OSxxx-3 8
Walls: sections and details 
OSxxx-3 9

Structural, services and shop drawings 

Box Roll
Electrical (Casartini[?] Associates), consulting engineers) 
OSxxx-3 10-11
Heating, ventilation and plumbing (Casartini[?] Associates) 
OSxxx-4 1-2
Steel (Carroll-McCreary Company) 
OSxxx-4 3
Structural (Charles Mayer, consulting engineer) 
OSx-2 6
OSxxx-4 4
Windows and aluminum framing (Browne Window Manufacturing) 
OSxx-2 5-7

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Series IV. Later alterations and additions 1962, 1966-1969, 1986 

In 1968, the Graduate Faculty division had outgrown its offices at 66 West Twelfth Street, and the school opened a new, block-long building at 65 Fifth Avenue. Some plans in this series were produced around the same time as this move; others reflect efforts to update data room facilities. It is unclear which of the alterations represented here were executed, and which only proposed.

Box Folder
Auditorium (proposed) (Edward J. Hills Architects), 1962 

A loose, freehand sketch, a design drawing, and correspondence regarding auditorium changes.

n_1 9
n_OSxx-1 6
Floor plans (proposed) (Percival Goodman F.A.I.A. Architect), 1966 
OSx-2 7
Data Center plans (Control Data Corporation), 1967 

Specifications for an HVAC system for the Data Center, probably in the List Building.

n_1 10
OSxxx-4 5
Floor plans and details (Frederick G. Frost Jr. and Associates Architects), 1969 

Frost and Associates was also the firm responsible for the renovation of the Lane's Department Store at 65 Fifth Avenue to create the Graduate Faculty building.

OSxxx-4 6
Furniture, telephone, electrical and mechanical plans (Frost Jr. and Associates Architects), 1969 
OSxxx-4 7
Third floor, List Building (proposed) (Wank Adams Slavin Associates [WASA]), 1986 
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Collection Guide Last Updated: 06/12/2017

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