Rockefeller University’s FDR Drive plan faces roadblock

Ambitious expansion proposal being reviewed by officials, skewered by residents

Rendering of Rockefeller University platform and buildings
Rendering of Rockefeller University platform and buildings

Rockefeller University’s proposal to expand the campus by adding 160,000 square feet above FDR Drive has been met with opposition from locals.

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Plans announced in July call for a two-story laboratory, amphitheater, two pavilions and a conference center, the Wall Street Journal reported. They would rest on a platform, anchored by 10 columns, about 20 feet above the highway between East 64th and East 68th streets. The city is in the process of reviewing the project. Residents have opposed it, arguing that the building will cast shadows on open space along the river and damage views of the Roosevelt Island Tramway and the Queensboro Bridge from the highway.

University officials said the expansion is necessary to compete with other schools in recruiting top students, as many of their facilities are in need of an upgrade. Rafael Viñoly Architects is handling design on the project. [WSJ]Mark Maurer