Ithaca Builds

Mapping, photos and information for Ithaca construction and development projects

Klarman Hall Structural Steel Complete

April 7, 2015 // by Jason Henderson

Hats off to Welliver and the crew from Raulli & Sons Ironworks sticking it out through the winter to get the structural steel done. Steel crane is now off site, and as the project rolls on, the new folding jib telescopic tower crane is up-and-running for the remainder of the work, especially the Josef Gartner glass installers that will be working on the glazed ceiling and wall systems that compose the atrium structure.

Throughout the structural phase, many of the exterior wall frames have now been assembled and sheathed with glass-mat sheathing in preparation for sandstone panels and various cladding types, and trades for electrical, plumbing, sprinkler systems, etc. have been busy. Interior framing started on the North side in March, and drywall and paint will be taking up much of May and June.

Photos from April 6th:
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Photos from March 10th:

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The Black Oak Wind Farm

March 13, 2015 // by Jason Henderson


The Black Oak Wind Farm announced last December that a long term Power-Purchase Agreement had been made with Cornell University for all of the turbine-generated electric production. In addition to the years of work by the project team to put it together and its investors (local and New York State), the agreement paved the way for the wind farm’s financing and execution of a seven-turbine (1.7 MW-rated) contract with General Electric. GE is the leading manufacturer for the wind turbine industry in the United States, with 41%.

Preliminary site work began earlier this year, and will ramp-up towards the Fall for turbine deliveries, installation, and final commissioning.

Below are a few screen shots in Google Earth from a 3D file courtesy of Noah Demarest of STREAM Collaborative. The turbine site is on Buck Hill in Enfield, just at the western edge of Tompkins County between Ithaca and Montour Falls, NY. The site is on a 1,000-acre lease from local landowners, and the seven turbines are spaced apart along the hill:

Each turbine will reach a height of 475 feet from the ground to blade-tip at full rotation. The annual power production would be enough to power about 5,000 households.
The turbines will be just-barely visible in the distance on clear days, from both Cornell’s east hill campus, and Ithaca College’s South Hill Campus:

Cornell’s Klarman Hall Project Finishing Structural Steel

March 1, 2015 // by Jason Henderson

Welliver has been working away on Cornell’s 33,250 square-foot Klarman Hall Project throughout this winter, and in the next week or so, should be complete with all structural steel components. The construction has been split between the south and north sections in each phase since starting the enabling work in September 2013 and pursuant foundation excavation and foundation footings in July 2014. The two sections contain classrooms, offices, and the north section a 350-seat auditorium, and are joined by a large interior atrium, utilizing the rotunda of Goldwin-Smith Hall for seating, food/cafe counter service, and ingress/egress. Klarman and Goldwin-Smith will be combined through several connecting hallways and common areas as well, as shown in the plans below.

Since October, the structural steel contractor Raulli & Sons Ironworkers out of Syracuse have been delivering, craning, bolting, and welding the steel columns and beams into place, along with the massive atrium trusses that stretch the two main structural sections. As steel finished-up on the south section late November, crews moved-in to deck the floors with corrugated sheet metal and applied steel mesh to reinforce the concrete floor pours. Once the concrete dried in January, framers came in to frame the walls with steel studs and sheetrock the walls. According to the schedule (end of post), Josef Gartner comes on-site to mobilize this march to install the glass atrium. Once the large hoist crane for the steel is off-site, and the lane is cleared of equipment, East Ave will be opened-up to two-way traffic again by April 20th.

Speciality trades, framing, and drywall will take-up much activity on both the South and North Sections until June/July, and by the Fall, painting, building systems, and finish-work will be left to tackle. The project is slated for a December 2015 delivery.

Photos taken February 27th:




Floor Plans:



Photos taken January 4th:


Photos taken December 14th:




Photos taken November 24th:




Photos taken November 3rd:


Photos taken October 14th:




Statler Hall Entry Renovation Project Complete

October 26, 2014 // by Jason Henderson

The Statler Hall Entry Renovation has been opened-up since late August, but the interior work and all exterior finishes are now complete. Here are some final photos for the project, which began in early summer, and took out the western-facing 1987 arched limestone entryway to replace with a new limestone and glass-wrapped 450 square foot vestibule and expanded space on the second floor above. Photos throughout construction may be seen on the project category page.

General contracting services by Northland Associates out of Syracuse, NY, and design by KSS Architects out of Princeton, NJ, and M/E Engineering out of Syracuse, NY.

Photos from September 21st:


Photos from October 15th:

Photos from October 24th:


Design Render:

Shanghai Tower Exhibit & A Needle Woman Installation

October 20, 2014 // by Jason Henderson

Non-Ithaca building related, but interesting nonetheless, here’s an architecture exhibit and a sculpture on the Cornell campus-

Shanghai Tower Exhibit:

This is a massive tower designed by Gensler being built in the Lujiazui District of Shanghai, China, and reaching a finished height of 2,073 feet (121 floors). The scale models are on display in Sibley Hall until November 7th, exhibit page here. Two Russian men actually climbed it back in February. It’s currently under construction, but has topped-out, and will be finishing in early 2015.

Photo copyright of Gensler




A Needle Woman:

Installed last month, this is “A Needle Woman,” a sculpture on the Arts Quad (in front of Goldwin Smith Hall) being exhibited from Sep 18, 2014 to Dec 22, 2014 done by artist Kimsooja, along with a group of collaborators, including Cornell nano material engineer and chemical scientist Ulirich Wiesner. The sculpture is treated with a molecularly engineered nano polymer that is precisely structured to maximize the refractive qualities of natural light (see project page here).



Cornell Sesquicentennial Grove

October 19, 2014 // by Jason Henderson

I missed this one as it was going in, but here’s the finished 1,700 square foot concrete and granite installation: Cornell’s Sesquicentennial Commemorative Grove. The Homecoming celebration over the weekend seemed quite well attended, and Cornell setup a webpage about the events, along with a nice historic timeline. The project cost around $650,000, and was designed by Weiss/Manfredi (post from last December, more renderings here), built by Welliver, and was dedicated by President Skorton last Friday. The project was spearheaded by Professor Isaac Kramnick.

The project sits atop Libe Slope, aligned with the statues of Ezra Cornell, between McGraw and Morrill Halls, and the statue of Andrew D. White in front of Goldwin Smith Hall. The surface engravings show the timeline along the horizontal granite midsection, and the vertical and horizontal engravings on the benches are of famous quotes from Cornellians.

“We have not invited you to see a university finished, but to see one begun.” -Ezra Cornell







The Gates Hall Facade

October 15, 2014 // by Jason Henderson

Quite possibly the most unique-looking building in Ithaca, the recently dedicated Gates Hall wears a facade mainly composed of glass curtain wall with an assortment of flat and angled metal shading panels produced by a company out of Kansas City, Missouri: Zahner. The group just released a nice web page detailing the design and installation process with the Architecture Team from Morphosis, the General Contractor Welliver, Structural Engineering firm Thornton Tomasetti, and glass installer W&W Glass.

As facade systems have become more complex, the process has evolved to work-out as many pre-fabrication steps before arrival on-site, then as panels are installed, photos from the site are compared with the full 3D model for verification. The same technique was actually employed for the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, designed by SHoP Construction. In addition to the aesthetic purpose, the panels actually block a precisely calculated portion of sunlight to limit solar gain (too much extra heat from the sun, driving up cooling needs).



Steel Erectors at Work on Klarman Hall

October 8, 2014 // by Jason Henderson

Cornell’s future 33,250 square foot Klarman Hall project being built by Welliver has finished-up the north and south foundations, and steel erectors are on site craning and bolting steel columns and beams in place on the south end. The columns are anchored to each foundation footing cap or pier, then the beams between each column are bolted and welded to the proper connection. The north end’s steel work should be completed by early November, and we’ll see the atrium steel assembly commence and complete throughout November.

Photos from September 29th:


Photos from October 5th:




Sage Chapel Renovation Project Photos

October 6, 2014 // by Jason Henderson

As a follow-up to the announcement back in March, and work commencement in June, below are a few recent photos of the preservation work for Sage Chapel on Cornell’s campus.

John Milner Associates was hired to assess the current conditions and come up with repair specifications and drawings. The firm specializes in historic preservation, the same group that has assessed and designed the repairs for the Washington Monument.

The Apse Window Repair:

The stained glass windows have gap seams to repair, work being done by stained glass conservator E.S. Taylor Studio, and several items will require repainting decorative finishes, to be done by John Tiedemann, Inc. The stained glass was carefully removed from the masonry frame for the work, and a printout of the stained glass window has been installed on the interior of the apse.

Replacement of ribbon slate roofing that was nearing the end of its service life, and flashing and seams on the roof (especially rake and gable ends) that must be reconstructed:


Still has all the charm on the inside:





Klarman Hall September Construction Update

September 24, 2014 // by Jason Henderson

The future 33,250 square foot Klarman Hall project being constructed between the wings of Goldwin Smith Hall by Welliver has completed the north and south foundation walls, and in addition to progress on the retaining foundation wall along East Ave, the southern concrete wall has been formed and poured. Because of the steep grade and excavation, concrete trucks park on East Ave and unload concrete into crane buckets that hoist the pours over to each form.

The structure represents Cornell’s first Humanities Building in over 100 years (Goldwin Smith was built in 1892). The design was done by Koetter | Kim & Associates.

Photos from September 7th:


Photos from September 16th:


Photos from September 21st: