“Churches should not be designed for Easter Sunday, and this is our Easter Sunday” said School of Architecture Dean Robert A.M. Stern ARC ’65 to the 500 people who could not find a seat in Hastings Hall.
Famous architects, patrons of the art world and New York City notables celebrated the restoration and expansion of Rudolph Hall by architect Charles Gwathmey ARC ’62 alongside University administrators, professors and students at the ribbon-cutting ceremony Saturday afternoon.
The ceremony began with the performance of a fanfare composed by Quincy Porter ’19 to honor the November 1963 dedication of the Art and Architecture Building and ended with a fanfare by Thomas Duffy, University director of bands, composed for the dedication of the Jeffrey H. Loria Center and the Haas Family Library.
An a cappella performance by incoming Jonathan Edwards Master Richard Lalli and three students honored the principle donors. They performed “Hallelujah,” but changed the lyrics to include the donors’ names.
Levin, Stern, Gwathmey, University Librarian Alice Prochaska and the project’s principal donors cut the symbolic blue ribbon with a pair of giant scissors.
Because the Loria Building did not have a single venue large enough to seat all guests, the event was simulcasted on screens in five different lecture halls.
“We’re not getting the real thing?” asked one guest to a staff member.
The ceremony was followed by a reception at the exhibition gallery as well as a private reception at the eighth-floor penthouse.
Gwathmey’s wife, Bette-Ann Gwathmey, said in an interview during the reception that the past three years had been intense, but also a “wonderful journey” for her and her husband.
“The most difficult part was that Stern kept saying we had to finish it on time [for the 45th anniversary of Rudolph Hall] and Charles thought we couldn’t make it,” Gwathmey said.
Luckily — for planning purposes, at least — they made it. Saturday marked 45 years since the building’s first dedication.
Renowned fashion designer Ralph Lauren and comedian Jerry Seinfeld both attended the event.
“I’m a big fan and friend of Gwathmey,” said Lauren, wearing a fern-colored suit with a blue shirt and purple tie.