Ithaca College Master Plan

21 08 2008

So, I know recently I devoted five entries and several hours of my life to coverage of the Cornell Master Plan. But, while I back the Big Red in the spotlight, it wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t give a little attention to the neighbors on South Hill.

Ithaca College has also completed a master plan, created by Sasaki Associates and finalized in September 2002 [1]. The plan is available for perusing online, but it comes in a rather crappy resolution pdf that makes it almost impossible to pick out some of the finer features. But, let’s give it a try anyway.

Note one thing as we glance through this: The Park Business School (architect Rober A.M. Stern) , the Gateway Center (HOLT architects), and the new Athletic Center have been recently built or are currently underway in some stage of approval or construction.

Park Business School (L) Gateway Center (R)

So, a brief history on the physical plant of Ithaca College; the first five dorms and the student union were built in 1961 (previously, the college occupied rented spaces in downtown Ithaca; classes were taught in the dorms and union from 1961-63). The first academic building, Friends Hall (it was paid for by the organization Friends of Ithaca College), was built in 1963. Five more residence halls and a health center were completed by the end of the year.

A little side note; for those unaware of the living arrangements of Ithaca College, it is an all-residential college, meaning that with the exception of seniors who choose to do so, all housing is on-campus. So they have more dorms than we at Cornell would be likely to suspect.

The campus expanded rapidly in the late 1960s, but saw very little construction in the 1970s, with the exception of a few smaller projects at the beginning of the decade and the end of the decade. The next wave of construction began with Smiddy Hall, which was completed in 1981. Ithaca College tends to play favorites with architects; Tallman & Tallman designed their first twenty or so buildings up to 1971, and then with a few exceptions, HOLT architects has designed most of the rest since the mid-1980s.

Go on and tell me the sixties weren't a bad decade for architectural design. I'm all ears for any justification.

Go on and tell me the sixties weren’t a bad decade for architectural design. I’m all ears for any justification.

The master plan identifies the need for about 170,000 sq. ft of office space immediately, and another 200 parking spaces. It also says that despite the stunning local topography, that the campus’s open spaces fail to utilize the area properly and are unmemorable as a result.

In the Ithaca College master plan, new development is identified in a darker shade of orange, as compared to the lighter shade used to denote existing buildings in 2002.

One of the goals of the plan is to have everything on central campus within a 10-minte walk from any given location. As a result of this pursued ideal, the central campus is much denser.

The total academic/office space to be built is around 500,000 square feet, with an additional 380,000 sqaure feet of additional dorm space.

The central campus also features a “main street” connecting many of the important area of the campus.

In case anyone’s wondering, here’s a massing of the new athletic center in its location next to the rest of the campus:

So, it’s towards the Cornell-far-side, but I still think that due to its massive size, Collegetown residents will still be able to pick it out on the southern skyline.

So while we have our plans going to work, IC’s already implemented theirs and has been trying to meet their goals for a little while now. Here’s hoping that the plan is as successful as they hope it will be.

P.S. I wanted to write about the IJ article extending the Collegetown moratorium and limiting building heights even further in Collegetown (on the five or six parcels that would’ve actually been raised), but I’ve just decided that councilwoman Mary Tomlan isn’t worth the time and effort of deriding her as a backwards-thinking malcontent.








Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: