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Renderings of Claremont Hall (Credit: Binyan Studios) Renderings of Claremont Hall (Credit: Binyan Studios)
More than 100 years after the Union Theological Seminary’s campus rose in Morningside Heights, the English Perpendicular Gothic-style buildings are showing their age both inside and out. As is becoming increasingly common in New York, a much-needed, multi-million-dollar renovation is being financed through the sale of approximately 350,000 square feet of development rights to developer Lendlease Americas Inc. and Daiwa House Group.

The acquired air rights are being used to erect a 41-story mixed-use condominium and academic tower dubbed Claremont Hall and located at 100 Claremont Avenue, in the heart of the seminary's campus. A recent site visit saw the new tower standing out among the historic seminary towers and already a dominant fixture in the Morningside Heights skyline.
 
 
 
 
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Completion is estimated for 2023, and sales have have launched on the condos, which building permits indicate will start on top of approximately 54,000 square feet of classrooms, academic offices, and faculty-designated apartments. Current availabilities start at $1.315 million for one-bedrooms, $1.985 million for two-bedrooms, $2.945 million for three-bedrooms, and $6.75 million for four-bedrooms. The tower also features three penthouses, which will be listed at a later date.

“Claremont Hall shares many of the architectural features and characteristics that define the Gothic style of Union Theological Seminary and Riverside Church. With careful setbacks and a vocabulary of sympathetic detailing, we were able to connect buildings of widely varying scales with a result that ensures the continuity of this neighborhood’s comfortable urbanism into the 21st century.” – Paul Whalen, Partner, Robert A.M. Stern Architects


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(April 2022)
March 2022
 
 
 
 
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Robert A.M. Stern Architects is the designer of the project, which features a Collegiate Gothic style, a limestone skin, oversized windows, several setbacks to create terraces, and a dramatic crown with double-height arched window at the highest level. Stonework at the base seamlessly connects the entry facade with surrounding campus buildings, and a mix of contrasting bricks and custom precast panels allows the new building to integrate with the visual texture of its historic surroundings. It is targeting LEED Gold certification.
At 471 feet high, Claremont Hall has usurped the nearby Vandewater as the tallest building in the neighborhood. Located one block away at 543 West 122nd Street, that condominium came into existence thought a similar process: The Jewish Theological Seminary sold a parcel of land and 262,000 square feet of air rights to developer Savanna for $96 million in February 2016. The seminary used the funds to finance the construction of its “21st Century Campus,” and remaining availabilities at Vandewater range from $940K for a studio to $5.65 million for a four-bedroom with a private terrace.
Claremont Hall is located in close proximity to Columbia University and “a world-class academic community” that also includes Barnard College and Manhattan School of Music on surrounding blocks; Columbia's new Manhattanville campus is a few blocks north. The elevated neighborhood is bounded by several parks with Morningside and Central Parks on the east side and Riverside and Sakura Parks on the west side. Other notable points of interest include Riverside Church, Grant's Tomb, and the Riverside Drive Viaduct. The 1 subway line can be found at 116th and 125th Street, and the area has easy access to the West Side Highway and the Hudson River greenway.
Rendering of The Vandewater with Columbia University in the foreground

↓ All residences feature soaring ceilings, high-performance windows, wide plank European white oak flooring, and custom-designed solid wood entrance doors with polished chrome hardware.

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↓ Open kitchens feature custom Italian cabinetry with a choice of two finishes, Calacatta Laza quartz countertops and backsplash, and Bosch appliance package.

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↓ Primary bedrooms boast walk-in closets.

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↓ Primary baths feature Arabescato Cervaiole marble in a basketweave pattern, custom Robert A.M. Stern-designed walnut vanities, polished chrome Kallista fixtures, and Toto water closet.

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↓ Select residences have private terraces.

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↓ “The warmth of natural materials detailed with craft, as well as tactile and textural materiality interpreted with jewel-tone hues, create a sense of welcome, warmth and home” — Nancy Ruddy, Co-Founder, CetraRuddy Architects, on the amenities her firm designed for Claremont Hall

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↓ The fitness center overlooks Union Theological Seminary’s courtyard and features a separate Movement Studio.

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↓ The Little Castle children’s playroom caters to the building’s youngest residents.

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↓ The residents’ lounge opens up to a terrace overlooking Sakura Park.

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↓ The Union Theological Seminary dining hall has been transformed into Refectory Pool, a 48-foot saltwater lap pool featuring soaring Gothic ceilings and original chandeliers.

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↓ One-bedrooms start at $1.315 million.

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↓ Two-bedrooms start at $1.985 million.

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↓ Three-bedrooms start at $2.945 million.

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↓ A four-bedroom is listed for $6.75 million.

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