Baker Theatre Building

Hunter College


In 2014, Hunter College Theatre Department graduate, Patty Baker donated $15m for the purchase of this 37,500sf Italian Renaissance landmark building.  In collaboration with Patty Baker and the Theatre Advisory Board, a phase of pre-design, programming and planning was completed in 2015. 

 The building will provide Hunter College with an opportunity to consolidate scattered Theatre Department facilities and significantly expand its programs and resources.  Due to its size and location alone, the building is expected to elevate the stature of the Theatre Department nationally.  The building also provides Hunter College with the exceptionally rare opportunity to expand their footprint within a densely overbuilt urban neighborhood.

 Existing campus spaces for performance (theaters, black box, etc.) and production (costume, scene and paint shops) will remain in use by the department.  The new building will provide spaces customized for theatrical rehearsal, instruction, administration and support.

 Cellar, first and second floors will accommodate large studio and rehearsal spaces.  A specialized “technology lab” will be on the second floor and the first floor will include special event and exhibition space.  Rehearsal studios and three media labs will include state-of-the-art theatrical recording, sound, lighting and acoustic equipment.

 Third and fourth floors are designed with a variety of instructional spaces (classrooms, seminar rooms, etc.).  Faculty offices, departmental support space and a student resource center occupy the top two floors.  The rooftop open-air studio provides additional space for rehearsal and informal performances.

 To bring the building up to code, a new vertical circulation core and elevator as well as new MEP and infrastructural system upgrades will be required.  As the building’s FAR is currently under-built, a new 7,500sf vertical expansion would be possible if funding is available.


project academic interior renovation location New York, NY size 37,500sf client CUNY Hunter College scope of services programming, planning, pre-design completion 2017 (est)


see also:

XL Learning Space

Black Box Incubator

Dance Program