The Real Deal New York

Ford Foundation Building to undergo $190M renovation

The Midtown property lacks basic fire safety features

December 17, 2015 03:20PM

Ford Foundation Building

Ford Foundation Building at 320 East 43rd Street

The Ford Foundation Building is about to get a $190 million makeover.

From a fire safety standpoint, the renovation is way overdue: The headquarters lacks sprinkler and the atrium doesn’t have a smoke exhaust system, the New York Times reported. The landmarked building, 320 East 43rd Street, was built roughly 50 years ago, and the city has given the foundation until 2019 to meet current fire codes.

The company’s 375 employees will temporarily move to 1440 Broadway in September while the renovations are being completed. Midtown-based architecture firm Gensler is designing the renovation, which will include creating more open work spaces and downsizing the president’s massive office.

The new headquarters will also include an art gallery, an assembly space on the 10th floor and two floors that will be rented to nonprofit organizations, the newspaper reported. The building’s exterior and atrium, which were designated as city landmarks in 1997, will remain the same. [NYT]Kathryn Brenzel