fordham university, duane library

Bronx, NY | 26,000 SF | 2004

Completed in 1926, Fordham University’s campus landmark, Duane Library, had lost much of its original interiors to the expansion of library requirements. Following the completion of a new university library in 1995, Duane Library sat in the middle of the campus locked and obsolete. PBDW was given the opportunity to breathe new life into this landmark, making it a relevant and vital part of the University. The scope included interior and exterior renovations, as well as major infrastructural upgrades.

Our team was involved in the project from the earliest planning stages. Using a series of test fits we collaborated with the University to develop a mixed-use program that included a visitors’ center, reception rooms, admissions department, academic departments, and classrooms. Selective removals were key to the building’s rebirth; we eliminated a granite entrance porch and relocated the front door from the second floor to grade, which made the building accessible and recaptured the ground floor for program space. Our new front door and entry plaza extend Emile G. Perrot’s neo-gothic idiom, while two new glass and zinc-clad stair towers stand in sharp contrast. By fully upgrading the building’s infrastructure and technology, we positioned it to once again serve as a key part of the University’s campus.


  • Lucy G. Moses Award, New York Landmarks Conservancy, 2005