92nd Street Y planning $180M renovation to UES headquarters

Cultural institution has already raised $145M for overhaul

Henry Timms and the 92nd Street Y
Henry Timms and the 92nd Street Y

On the heels of the biggest fundraising campaign in its 144-year history, the 92nd Street Y is planning a $180 million renovation of its Upper East Side headquarters.

The Y’s 250,000-square-foot building, which fronts Lexington Avenue between 91st and 92nd streets, has struggled to keep up with the cultural institution’s programs as they’ve grown over the years, the Wall Street Journal reported.

“We underinvested in the building for decades,” Henry Timms, the Y’s chief executive since 2014, told the newspaper.

The Y has raised $145 million of the planned $180 million capital campaign.

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Work is expected to take place over the next few years on the building, which is actually two buildings dating back to 1929 and 1968 that were later fused together as one.

The Y won’t be expanding the building, but will rather eliminate some of the dorm-like residential units and reconfigure existing space to provide the necessary room, officials said. The center already completed one element of the overhaul: a new 16-room facility for its music school, which serves 900 students.

Other cultural institutions, meanwhile, have struggled to fund costly projects. Lincoln Center and the New York Philharmonic, for example, scrapped a $500 million plan to renovate David Geffen Hall. [WSJ] – Rich Bockmann