Inside the New Fiterman Hall

The new Fiterman Hall—replacing the one irreparably damaged on 9/11—opened yesterday, so I moseyed over for a peek. (Fiterman Hall is part of the Borough of Manhattan Community College, whose main campus is in Independence Plaza; more on that here. Not anyone can wander in—I got pre-approval.) The freestanding building, which takes up the entire block between W. Broadway and Greenwich, Park Place and Barclay, feels nice and airy.

The stars are the staircases—I’m not sure how many there are total (it’s sort of a confusing layout), but they look fantastic, especially the spiral ones.

The spiral staircases make for some luscious curves.

Most (if not all) of the classrooms are on the perimeter—the building’s lack of direct neighbors means the classrooms have natural light and, often, terrific views.

The building is full of spaces to hang out, most of which are open; there are also some small rooms for studying.

You get some excellent vantage points.

The restroom I went into had a Dyson Airblade hand dryer, which excited me more than everyone else, judging from the garbage can next to it overflowing with paper towels.

I’m not sure why there’s a gate on the tenth floor. “It could be a gate blocking the new terrace that’s not open,” emailed BMCC’s Barry Rosen in response to my question. “Upper floors are still under construction.”

All in all, it seems like a lovely place to study. And it was great to see the renewed energy—and young people!—in the surrounding blocks.

P.S. It’s pronounced fit-er-mehn, not fight-er-man. I’ve added it to the Tribeca Pronunciation Guide.



  1. Great staircase photographs!

  2. I was hoping they would have an open house so everyone could see it. Would like to see the staircases. Are those indoor bike racks on the first floor? Are they going to have enough of them inside for everybody?

  3. @Hudson River: I don’t recall seeing any indoor bike racks….

  4. On the park place and greenwich street sides you can see metal things inside that look like those gizmos people use to store their bikes vertically (with the wheels against the wall) so I thought that’s what they were, but I admit never having used one or seen anyone else use one; just was always curious about how they got the bikes into and out of them. It seemed like a good idea to let students keep their bikes inside.