JTS Announces New Phase of Major Multi-Year Reinvestment in Morningside Heights Campus
Newly Closed Sale Offers Opportunity for Redesign Focused on Students and Community
The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), one of the leading Jewish institutions in North America, today took a major step to redesign its storied and historic campus in Morningside Heights, New York. JTS completed the sale of a defined lot of land at the eastern edge of its campus at 3080 Broadway, limited rights to develop that land, and one of its off-campus residence halls to Savanna, a New York–based real estate investment and development firm. The proceeds from this sale will enable JTS to reimagine and modernize its campus to meet the needs of current and future generations. JTS has retained the services of Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, world-renowned architects and National Medal of Arts award recipients, whose work can be found at Lincoln Center in New York, the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, and elsewhere.
“For 130 years, JTS has been the leading training ground for the next generation of Jewish leaders in North America and beyond. Today, we’re reimagining our campus to meet the needs of current and future students and the broader Jewish community,” said Arnold Eisen, chancellor of JTS. “We will use advanced technology and design to strengthen our academic institution at a time of rapid and radical transformation. Our new campus will facilitate a deeper collaboration with our neighbors, our city, and individuals and communities around the world. It will provide multiple new opportunities for dialogue around the most critical issues of our time. This is the beginning of a new chapter in our long history as a world-class educational institution, dedicated to training the leaders of tomorrow.”
The redevelopment of JTS will include: a new library to hold its unparalleled collection of Judaica treasures, a state of the art residence hall, improved conference facilities, and an auditorium/performing arts space with advanced technological capacity. Together, these facilities will enable JTS to provide a 21st-century education for its students and to project its vision and teaching throughout North America and the world.
“We are thrilled to take on this most important and challenging project for JTS,” said Tod Williams and Billie Tsien. “This new building will help the campus to engage the world, honoring the institution’s past and celebrating what is to come. As architects our task is to create a vessel that will change the lives of those who experience it and ultimately make life itself more meaningful. We are very excited and honored to be working with the board, administration, faculty, and staff at JTS toward this common goal.”
“JTS has always been an idea incubator, exploring the ways that Judaism can be exciting and responsive to our times. As chairman of the board, I am gratified to be at the helm during such a transformational moment in the organization’s history,” said Alan Levine, chair of the board of trustees of JTS. “The sale announced today will enable us to reimagine our campus and fulfill our mission to cultivate leaders who think in new and interesting ways about Judaism and the broader world.”
Savanna has hired Beyer Blinder Belle Architects, recognized for its stewardship of historic buildings in sensitive urban sites, to design a 250,000-sq.ft. residential development for the site on 122nd Street between Amsterdam Avenue and Broadway. Savanna has over two decades of experience investing in and developing properties throughout New York City.