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Renovating the Lawrence and Eris Field Building at 17 Lexington Avenue

Upgrade After 88 Years of Service Will Bring Building into the 21st Century

Built in 1929, the Lawrence and Eris Field Building at 17 Lexington Avenue is the historic hub and sentimental heart of Baruch College.

Planned renovations for the Field Building will ensure that 17 Lex joins the other College buildings as a model environment for 21st-century education. This multi-phase project puts a strong emphasis on sustainability, and the new 17 Lex aims to attain a LEED silver designation from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Renovating the Field Building was first envisioned in 2012, and construction on Phase 1A will begin in May 2017.

Features of Phase 1

  • Completely reconfigured and transformed Lexington Avenue entrance and lobby, featuring a new glass front that lets natural light spill into an airy, accessible and inviting space
  • New elevators
  • Upgraded Con Edison electrical vaults providing clean energya greater capacities
  •  Building accessibility in compliance with ADA (American Disabilities Act) standards

The renovated 17 Lex was first envisioned in a 2008 Master Plan. The design was started soon thereafter and consists of six phases. Phase 1 construction started in January 2017 and the remaining phases are awaiting funding.

“This long-awaited renovation will make the lives of students, faculty, and staff easier; maximize energy efficiency; and enable the Field Building at 17 Lex to be an even better neighbor to the Flatiron/Gramercy Park community. Baruch College deserves a state-of-the-art building that will thrive far into the 21st century.” – Mitchel B. Wallerstein, president, Baruch College

Building Timeline

  • 1847: The Free Academy, the first municipally-supported college in New York, is built at 23rd and Lexington
  • 1929: Construction completed on City College School of Business and Civic Administration at 17 Lexington Ave
  • 1953: 17 Lex renamed Baruch School of Business
  • 2005: Building renamed Lawrence and Eris Field Building after philanthropist Lawrence N. Field and his late wife Eris
  • 2014: Renovations of the Field Building officially began
  • 2017: Phase 1 of construction gets underway

The Importance of Preservation

The Field Building remains a crucial part the distinguished Gramercy neighborhood. The building was praised during its construction by the New York Times as “the largest structure anywhere devoted to the teaching of up-to-date business methods,” and it will be incredibly important to preserve the building’s historic details. Already the original lighting fixtures flanking the Lexington Avenue entrance have been meticulously restored and relocated to 23rd Street, and most architectural details of the façade will remain whole.

At one time, virtually every College activity—academic and extracurricular—took place under 17 Lex’s roof, prompting the nickname “College in a Box.” To this day, it accommodates 4,000 students, faculty, and staff members each semester. Its renovation is needed to ensure that it remains relevant and well equipped for generations of future students.

Download the Renovation Plans PDF