Location
New York, NY

Completion
2001

Client
The Jewish Theological Seminary of America

Square Footage
30,000 SF

Architect
Jack L. Gordon Architects, P.C.

Jewish Theological Seminary

Sciame was the Construction Manager responsible for the renovation the 11-story Kripke Tower at the Jewish Theological Seminary, which had previously housed the library’s book stacks prior to being destroyed by a fire some years ago. The project was completed via a 3-phased construction schedule, which allowed the existing wings on each side of the tower to remain occupied throughout construction.

The main challenge was to integrate new building systems and equipment into a very tight space, for which no “as build” drawings existed. To provide for new elevators, Sciame opened the back of the building and excavated solid rock to incorporate a new extension for the elevator core. The structural requirements were unique, as the existing interior structure was a combination of steel catwalks and steel shelving. The structure was removed while leaving the existing brick exterior and perimeter steel intact. Sciame worked closely with the structural engineers, holding meetings two to three times a week in order to resolve issues as they came up.

The design of the new tower allowed connections to the existing wings and dramatically increased the use of space on each floor to house classrooms, seminar rooms, a computer laboratory, a faculty center and offices. Sciame also integrated a sophisticated telecommunications system and audio/visual package throughout the facility. A main entranceway was provided by using the existing vaulted breezeway which was covered with limestone.

By carefully managing the project, money was saved and used to build a new rooftop plaza.