The state-of-the-art, LEED-certified building will house Brooklyn College’s Department of Theater and Conservatory of Music, and serve as hub for arts and culture in the borough.
A ribbon cutting reception for the new Leonard & Claire Tow Center for the Performing Arts welcomed distinguished guests Leonard Tow ’50, who, together with his wife, the late Claire Tow ’52, donated $10 million toward the construction of the center; public relations mogul Don Buchwald ’59, for whom the 225-seat theater inside the complex is named; and officials from the New York State, New York City, and The City University of New York (CUNY). Both Tow and Buchwald are members of the Brooklyn College Foundation Board of Trustees.
“The new Leonard & Claire Tow Center for the Performing Arts is a magnificent addition to our beautiful campus,” said Brooklyn College President Michelle J. Anderson. “This cutting-edge facility will serve as a much needed nexus of creativity for our talented students, as well a vibrant center for arts and culture in the borough.”
Sitting at the intersection of Campus Road and Hillel Place, the center provides a spectacular new entrance to the 35-acre campus, where many of the more than 18,000 Brooklyn College students access the college daily. The building was designed by Pfeiffer Architects, which worked closely with faculty and administrators from both CUNY and Brooklyn College to create a structure that transforms the interface between the college and its vicinity, while meeting the pressing needs of the Department of Theater and the Conservatory of Music, which are now housed in the center.
Central to the building is the 225-seat multi-purpose Don Buchwald Theater, which provides a stage extension and seating lifts, and retained the old Gershwin Theater stage but with new variable acoustics and an acoustic shell. The space can quickly go from a proscenium theater to a classically shaped concert hall, and can accommodate a full orchestra.
The Tow Center also features a 30-foot-high orchestra rehearsal room on the second level that doubles as a performance and rehearsal space; a Performance and Media Interactive Arts (PIMA) Program sound lab; a scene shop for set construction; nine music studios; three percussion practice rooms; and a recording studio.
Through their foundation, Leonard and Claire Tow have contributed generously to their alma mater, where they first met. For more than two decades, The Tow Foundation has provided endowments for student internship programs and student scholarships. They have also supported faculty travel fellowships, and undergraduate travel stipends for students to conduct research outside of the United States.
Brooklyn College is able to provide its students with the state-of-the-art learning environments they need to flourish in their artistic and career endeavors thanks to the generosity of alumni and friends received through the Brooklyn College Foundation. To learn about the various ways to contribute to student success, please visit the foundation website.
CONTACT: Ernesto Mora, 212.662.9939