Last month, everything at 58 Washington Square South went according to plan. The Archdiocese of New York demolished its Catholic Center at NYU at the behest of the university, and then NYU purchased the vacated piece of land. The missing ingredient was what the school planned on doing with that plum piece of real estate along the reborn Washington Square Park?a secret no more! Behold NYU's Center for Academic and Spiritual Life, which will include spaces for religious observance, music rehearsals and conferences, as well as classrooms and offices. The first-floor Catholic Center v2.0 would be owned and operated by the Archdiocese. The six-story design (with an entrance at 238 Thompson Street as well) comes from Boston-based Machado and Silvetti Associates, and NYU must now pray to the almighty Board of Standards and Appeals to give this building the nod.
The current as-of-right zoning allows an 11-story building on the site, but with skinny floorplates that are undesirable for the school (rendered in the gallery above). So NYU is proposing a building with less square-footage, albeit one with a wider footprint. The school will soon head to the BSA to ask for a variance to modify lot coverage and setback regulations. Will Big Purple come out victorious? Most likely, and they're sure as heck confident. NYU is projecting a summer 2012 completion for the LEED Silver building, which would connect on most floors to the neighboring Kimmel Center. What say you, Greenwich Village?
· All Catholic Center coverage [Curbed]