Ithaca Builds

Mapping, photos and information for Ithaca construction and development projects

Klarman Hall Digs Deeper

June 18, 2014 // by Jason Henderson

Rock removal and blasting began late May by Maine Drilling and Blasting, as the project reaches further into the ground, removing rock and soil for the future foundations of Klarman Hall, which will sit between the wings of Goldwin Smith Hall. The shoring beams are tied with lag boards to support the hillside as the digging goes deeper, but the blasting should be finished-up by July. Here’s an updated project schedule from the project page:

18 Jun 2014 | East Ave Shoring complete
24 Jun 2014 | Complete Rock removal South
01 Jul 2014 | Complete Rock removal North
16 Jul 2014 | South Footings complete
06 Aug 2014 | North Footings complete
27 Aug 2014 | South Foundation walls complete
28 Aug 2014 | Steel erection begins
17 Sep 2014 | North Foundation walls complete
01 Oct 2014 | South Steel Complete
05 Nov 2014 | North Steel complete
19 Nov 2014 | Atrium steel installed

All the underpinnings were completed last month, and we should be seeing foundation work start in the next couple weeks. Concrete forms will be situated starting at the south end, then steel reinforcement tied in-place, then concrete poured into the form. The foundation walls and steel erection phases will also go from south to north, so by the time northern foundation walls are being formed, structural steel will have begun placement on the south end. Should be a nice one to watch as it goes up. Quite an elevation change too; this one starts well below-grade, a lot like the recent Law School Expansion, constructiom which was also managed by Welliver. The design for Klarman Hall is by Koetter | Kim & Associates.

June 18th:


June 15th:


May 26th:



Statler Hall Entry Renovation Begins

June 15, 2014 // by Jason Henderson

Cornell’s Statler Hall Entry renovation has begun, as the western-facing 1987 arched limestone entryway has been removed from the building over the past three weeks, along with the hardscape out in front. The existing floors have been blocked-off with stud walls and fiberglass-mat sheathing on the outside, as the project will commence with building an entirely new entryway vestibule and re-worked hallway that includes additional second-floor space above, with an ample metal-framed glass curtain wall on either side. The new stone base will match the existing, and the facade will contain limestone panels to compliment the existing limestone veneer. In addition to the expanded and renovated space, the project contains significant new HVAC work as one of the primary motivators.

The $2.4 million project was designed by KSS Architects, and M/E Engineering. The plans were presented back in December of last year, with a planned delivery date of August.






Cornell Klarman & Goldwin Smith Hall Photo Update

May 18, 2014 // by Jason Henderson

An excavator has been removing soil in front of the shoring wall along East Ave, and re-roofing work on Goldwin Smith has progressed to the west side of the building, facing the Arts Quad. I’m not positive, but in looking at the drawings, there must be another shoring wall to go in closer to East Ave. in order to excavate another section of soil for the future building’s foundation. The project schedule shows rock removal beginning about a week from now, so there’s probably a solid layer of bedrock underneath the excavated area. The lowest floor of Klarman Hall will sit nearly equal with Goldwin Smith’s lowest floor, so the excavation will be going down much further.

Klarman Hall will be a new 33,250 square foot Humanities Building, designed by Koetter | Kim & Associates and built by Welliver to be completed around the end of 2015. Goldwin Smith Hall was built in 1892, designed by Charles Osborne (an architecture professor), Carrère and Hastings (a prominent Beaux-Arts/neo-classical architecture firm).








Cornell Law School Renovation Interior Photos

May 15, 2014 // by Jason Henderson



I swung inside the Cornell Law School Expansion this past week to follow-up from the last post with interior photos. This expansion wing on Myron Taylor Hall began back in 2012 and finished-up just a couple weeks ago, in time for convocation this weekend. It was designed by Ann Beha Architects, and constructed by Welliver.

The interior certainly kept with the idea of synthesizing a modern addition into an existing historic structure in a very tasteful manner. There are many wooden surfaces and trim work, and the stone is kept exposed on the interior. Nothing seemed to be either too ornate, or too modern. The lighting is relaxing, and the large windows bring a lot of natural light into the hall lounge. The classrooms are nice as well- good visibility from every seat, and additional screens on each side of the central lecterns. Genuinely tempting to hang out here and read a book, just a great, comfortable space:








Klarman Hall, Goldwin Smith Hall Photo Update

May 4, 2014 // by Jason Henderson


The metal shoring beams along East Ave appear to have been completed since early April, and the slate and metal re-roofing of Goldwin Smith Hall has progressed to the far southern edge. Foundation underpinnings for Goldwin Smith Hall will continue for the rest of this month, then further excavation of the hillside will take place along East Ave to prepare for structural foundation work for the future Klarman Hall.





Cornell Gates Hall Interior Photos

May 1, 2014 // by Jason Henderson

Got a chance to swing into Gates Hall and take some more interior photos since last time, so here are some shots from the hallways, common areas, and a few rooms. Not sure when the steps out front will be completed, but the interior has some nice eye-candy, and a great view of Hoy Field.

Ithacating has a great shot of this project from back in late 2012 when it was still being framed; here’s a shot from April of last year, and here are some photos from July. Definitely an interesting place to walk through:



Trippy Hallways:

Open cell ceiling panels, handy for maintenance:


Common Areas:

I was hoping this would be translucent, but it’s too opaque to see through. This is the glass floor of the cantilever section:




Work Rooms and Labs:


Cornell Law School Expansion & Renovation Project

April 18, 2014 // by Jason Henderson


This project was out of public view for the majority of it, but I think it’s definitely worth the visit. The barricades have been removed, so I took a few photos. The new wing is underground, and hosts a lobby space, studying areas, and three new classrooms, along with a re-landscaped Purcell courtyard, and a renovated entryway to Myron Taylor Hall. The project started back in the summer of 2012.

There’s still a live camera feed to the project area, and the Law School hosts an information page with design renders and layouts. Birdseye view of the layout is below:


The original announcement indicated that this project is actually the first expansion for about 25 years, since the Jane Foster Library Addition was added in 1987. The feed from the live cam has been condensed into a time-lapse video of the entire duration of the project.

The project was built by Welliver, and designed by Ann Beha, an architect that specializes in new additions that blend with traditional architecture.


New Wing:



Purcell Courtyard:


Myron Taylor Hall (renovated entryway):


Renders and Time-Lapse Images property of Cornell University Law School

Goldwin Smith Roofing & Klarman Hall Groundwork Project Photos

April 9, 2014 // by Jason Henderson


There’s been some considerable equipment mobilization on this site since late March with the addition of a boom crane and a pile hammer, possibly a vibratory model for noise and speed considerations. The pile hammer is for beam shoring (geo-shoring) along East Avenue, in order to hold the hill together once the site is dug out quite far down for Klarman’s footprint. After the steel beams are in ground, they are followed-up with lagging boards, which are affixed to the beams for soil retention.

Goldwin Smith Hall’s central eastern-side roof has progressed with re-slating and new metal roofing installation, which will continue along that end, and also the south wing’s southern side. The schedule indicates that underpinnings on the south wing of Goldwin Smith Hall have been completed, and will continue along the rotunda area this month.


Steel Beams for Shoring:

Cross-section of Klarman Hall design along East Ave.:




More photos from April 6th:

Photos from March 29th:

Stocking Hall Reconstruction Photos

April 6, 2014 // by Jason Henderson

I finally took the time to swing by Cornell’s Stocking Hall reconstruction to take some photos, so here are a selection of exteriors from this $105 million ongoing project. Stocking Hall (and the former Cornell Dairy Bar & Food Science Lab) closed down back in 2010 to demolish the 48,000 square-foot “runway” section built in 1921 stretching along Tower Road, and rebuild this new 105,500 square foot four-storey wing. The project includes the renovation of the Food Science Lab building and the Historic Wing of Stocking Hall, at a total of 81,500 square feet. The Dairy Bar re-opened for business back in August 2013, and has since began selling Cornell dairy products earlier this year. The ongoing work in the existing Historic Wing of Stocking Hall is a thorough interior renovation to make way for modern teaching labs, classrooms, offices, and conference rooms.

The new glass-fronted section along Tower Road prominently displays the dairy holding tanks, processing equipment, and dairy operations, while the upper stories contain research labs, teaching labs, offices and conference rooms. There are nice terrace areas on the front yard along Tower Road, but also in the back (southern side), just west of the receiving zone. The connection between the new wing and the Historic Wing has been built, but is closed-off for construction.





Night lights:



Existing Historic Wing:



Food Science Lab:



Cornell’s Sage Chapel Preservation Project

March 29, 2014 // by Jason Henderson


Cornell University has hired a design team that has assessed the current conditions of Sage Chapel in order to carry out a large preservation effort. The primary motivators for the project are the conditions of the slate roof, roof flashing, and brick and stone masonry. The lead architect, John Milner Associates specialize in historic preservation, the same group that has assessed and designed the repairs for the Washington Monument, which will be reopening May 12th this year. Robert Silman Associates has been working on the structural engineering aspects, along with Princeton Engineering Group for mechanical engineering needs.

Photos property of Cornell University

The original Chapel was built in 1873, and was designed by Reverend Charles Babcock, one of the founding members of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), and Cornell’s first Professor of Architecture. It was the first non-denominational chapel built on a college campus in the United States, a gift from Henry William Sage, a lumber-magnate and early benefactor of Cornell. The Chapel has undergone four separate additions, with the Memorial Chapel addition in 1882, the 1898 addition, the 1903 addition, and the 1940 addition (pictured above), all of which maintained a design consistent with the original building.

The planned work is fully detailed in the application to the Ithaca Landmarks Preservation Commission. The design team has documented areas where the ribbon slate is nearing the end of its service life, necessitating replacement, flashing and seams on the roof (especially rake and gable ends) that must be reconstructed, and deteriorated brick and stone masonry on the memorial chapel. There are also a few stained glass windows that have gap seams to repair, work to be done by stained glass conservator E.S. Taylor Studio. Several items will require repainting decorative finishes, work to be done by John Tiedemann, Inc.