November 15, 2012
Let us share with you some photos of 2 Court Square, our terrific new location in Long Island City, just minutes from Manhattan and all five boroughs.
CUNY School of Law owns the first six floors of 2 Court Square in Long Island City. The space gives the school nearly 70,000 additional square feet of state-of-the-art classroom, conference, and event facilities, including an auditorium and a moot courtroom.
The second-floor landing is the heart of the Law School’s new home. Students, faculty, staff, and visitors enjoy coffee or a sandwich at Thurgood’s café.
Our new home has more small and large study rooms for students. Many have floor-to-ceiling windows, which allow sunlight to pour in and offer beautiful views of Queens and Manhattan.
The library encompasses the entire top floor of the Law School. Library staff and faculty offices line the perimeter of the space, interspersed with student study rooms. A kitchen pantry and conference rooms for studying and meetings make up the center of the floor.
Our new building includes large, state-of-the-art classrooms with microphones, smart boards, and recording capabilities.
Snapshot: Long Island City
Long Island City, the Law School’s new home, is hard to define, thanks to its diversity. From humble industrial roots, the neighborhood now embraces thousands of artists, mom-and-pop stores and businesses, nonprofit organizations, JetBlue and MetLife, and 19 hotels.
“We’re a neighborhood in transition,” said LIC Partnership president Gayle Baron. “Transformative things are happening. We’re unique and edgy but still affordable. LIC is flourishing.”
Diversity is also evident in the more than 100 ethnic groups in the LIC/Astoria neighborhood, as the nearby Museum of the Moving Image points out. One benefit: a ton of restaurants of many flavors, including Thai, Indian, Peruvian, and Italian.
LIC still has grittiness, or what Baron calls “authenticity.” From the 7 train, as it rumbles on elevated tracks toward Court Square and the historic Long Island City Courthouse, you can see graffiti tagging every inch of 5Pointz, an art center called “graffiti Mecca” by some. It’s like traveling back in time four decades. Back then, there was an abandoned school across the street dating to 1892, and artists were just starting to repurpose it for contemporary art, the origins of P.S.1, now MoMA PS1.
The neighborhood remains about 14 percent industrial, Baron said. If you wander just east of the Law School, you’ll find Century Rubber Supply Company, which gives a glimpse of the area’s still-thriving roots. Here you’ll find miles of rubber hose, including hydraulic and marine hose, steam and discharge hose, and silicone hose good to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
“Business is still good,” said Century’s owner, Gordon Biel. It was his father’s store; he bought the building in 1947. “It’s the only reason I’m here.”
Surveying the landscape brings into focus a host of other organizations including the Noguchi Museum, dedicated to the Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi, and the Fortune Society, which supports people who are reentering their communities from prison and promotes alternatives to incarceration.
Then there is Legal Outreach, a college-prep organization helping students from underserved communities gain academic skills to pursue legal and other professional careers. It also runs a summer program for students entering high school that promotes academic excellence and inspires them to pursue careers in the law.
Like CUNY Law, Legal Outreach moved to LIC after having outgrown other spaces. It had been working out of Harlem and Brooklyn and nine other sites, before consolidating everything in LIC.
“[We're now] close to Manhattan, without having to pay Manhattan prices,” said Executive Director James O’Neal. Legal Outreach resides in a 24,000-square-foot building, easily reachable by subway from any of four boroughs.
The centralized location definitely makes a difference for students, he said, and CUNY Law will benefit.
“People who are really dedicated will make their way to any place offering a great education, but the proximity to other boroughs enhances the services the school can deliver,” said O’Neal.
“It’s a good home,” said Gayle Baron. “CUNY Law comes to LIC as it’s in transition and transformation. I firmly believe that the best is yet to come.”
– Paul Lin