The Goldwin Smith Hall Addition

20 11 2008

Perhaps I’ll still have some construction tidbits to write about after all. So, up for review for the Ithaca Planning Board this month is a sketch review of the Goldwin Smith Addition. The “Goldwin Smith Annex” is a $45.1 million, 60,000 sq. ft addition in the back of the building [1], facing East Avenue, a la the Lincoln Hall addition in 1998. The GA Annex is set for a targeted completion date of Summer 2011, but given the current economic situation, we’ll see if that changes down the line. To quote the capital budget plan (first link):

“This project will design and build a new building adjacent to Goldwin Smith Hall to provide approximately
30,000 to 35,000 net square feet of new humanities and social science classroom and academic department space on the Arts Quad. The new space will address partially a chronic shortage of academic space that has characterized this area of campus and which has been exacerbated by recent and projected growth in faculty and programs in response to university initiatives. The current shortage of space has resulted in: (a) some faculty sharing offices or rotating among offices based on the pattern of temporary faculty leaves; (b) a lack of adequately sized classrooms and lecture halls; and (c) inadequate space for lecturers, graduate students, and staff.”

Where’d they get the 60,000 sq. ft figure from? My personal guess is renovated space in Goldwin Smith.  I’m not a fan of inconsistencies. However, the old budget plan indicates that an architects should have been selected in fall 2007.

So, unfortunately, the sketch plan brings no mention of the architectural firm, which makes the task of getting a rough idea of the design a veritable hell. However, thanks to the master plan, we actually have an idea of the massing:


So, the rough massing concept seems to be three connected but otherwise independent structures, all of similar massing (and therefore roughly the same square footage). If we use the 60,000 sq. ft figure, except three two-and-a-half story buildings with footprints of about 7500 sq. ft each, which fits the area rather snugly. If it’s the 30-35,000 figure, we can except the footprint to be smaller, but the height massing will likely be about the same to maintain massing consistency with the main building.

In the meanwhile, I have requests filed in with the contact person for this project asking for any possible rendering or at least the architectural firm responsible, so I’ll come back to edit this post, hopefully in the not too distant future.

[1] —page 54


“D. Sketch Plan, New Humanities Building, Cornell University (materials to be distributed at



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