Inside 140, Lincoln Center’s Newest Addition


The McNally Amphitheatre is one of the many new venues in the 140 building. (PHOTO BY BEN MOORE/THE OBSERVER)


The old law building sat largely unexplored by Fordham Lincoln Center undergraduates for years, but this fall, students will have incentive to venture across campus. An extensive update and renovation has created a new Student Center to house student organizations, clubs, classrooms, faculty offices, an Argo Tea “tea-osk” and the updated Quinn Library space.

This renovated space now open to students includes social and study areas, faculty offices and permanent rooms for student organizations like the Campus Activities Board (CAB), Commuter Students Association (CSA) and United Student Government (USG). The Office of Student Involvement has also been moved to a new office close to the organizations it oversees.

“We have long needed a student center on campus,” Dean of Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) Rev. Robert R. Grimes, S.J., Ph.D., said. “I look forward to various extracurricular activities being able to have places to meet and to hold events, which has been a problem over the years.”

“As with all new construction it takes a while to work things out,” he said. “We’ll see what the patterns of usage are.”

Grimes said, “I know [the construction] cost more than they expected. The building was in worse shape than they realized.”

He also expressed how pleased he is with the recent campus expansions. “Just two years ago, as far as undergraduates were concerned, the campus was McMahon Hall and Lowenstein,” Grimes said. “Now we have this very large new law school which is open, mostly accessible for group activities. We’ve got a dining hall in there, we’ve got a second residence hall—McKeon—and now the old law school known as 140. We have a student center and a library, and then there’s also Martino Hall across the street. That’s a huge shift in the pattern of movement around the campus.”

The new space has been open for students to explore since mid-August, though certain areas were still under construction due to the relocation of many offices.

“The new space is actually bigger than we anticipated,” USG President Leighton Magoon, FCLC ’17, said.  “Everything, for me, that they advertised in regards to the student space is there, and everybody has the spot that they were given.”

Magoon said that the USG office is about twice the size of the old space, and that the group would be advertising the location change as well as holding their meetings and events in the multipurpose rooms there as much as possible.

“We encourage everybody to go check out the space, because it’s not completely done yet but what they have done is just remarkable,” he said.

There are several events throughout the school year that are run by student organizations, which are typically held around Lowenstein or in the Atrium. According to Magoon, students can expect a change of venue for the Club Leader Networking Dinner in October and the Undergraduate Awards (Undy’s), among other occasions. “I’ve seen the [large multipurpose rooms],” he said. “They’re big enough and they would definitely work perfectly for these events.”

Magoon said USG was planning to move most of its operations to the new space to promote its exploration. “We just hope people will go to it because it’s a little bit more walking than people are accustomed to, but I’m thinking once the Argo Tea rolls in that space is going to be really cool for students to go to. And not just for Gabelli students, because a lot of their classes are now there— for Lincoln Center students to come check it out, not just for the Argo tea but for the space and how much time and energy was put into this spot.”

The Observer also had the chance to tour the new Quinn Library space, which comprises three floors, replete with desks, computers and windows.

According to Assistant Director of Fordham University Libraries and Director of Quinn Library Robert Allen, expanding the library space at FLC has gone on for “what seems like forever.”

Allen said that they consulted with Professor Joan Roberts, who has studied the effect of circadian rhythms throughout her chemistry career, to plan the new space.

Head of Access, Information and Collections Services and Operations at the Quinn Library Nick Alongi said, “We found studies where natural light is more conducive to studying than our old lighting was. So, we think this is going to be better, more aesthetically pleasing to patrons, and possibly more functionally appealing too.”

The third floor will also feature six group study rooms. “Projects are really shifting in the undergraduate and graduate fields,” Alongi said. “Rather than people working independently, there’s a lot more group work, a lot more collaborative work, especially when you get to the theses and the dissertations. We felt like having a proper space where people can work independently and quietly, and also work collectively in a not noisy, but ‘non-shush’ kind of zone, that was a priority.”

The first floor, dubbed the “Learning Commons,” features a late-night vending cafe. “If students here at three in the morning need a jolt of coffee to get through to breakfast, that’s at least there,” Allen said.

“The 24-hour access has been very popular since we started doing it a couple of years ago during the finals period,” Alongi added. “Some users, they’re here when I come in for work, they’re here when I leave and the next morning, they’re here in the same clothes. And this campus is very geographically convenient, a block from the subway. If you do a have a large-scale project, the 24-hour zone might be the ideal location for you.”

The new space features new PC’s, new printers and new copiers.

“We designed redundancy of the system,” Alongi said. “If one printer goes down, directly next to you or on the floor above you, there’ll be an alternative right there.

“And that’s especially important on the first floor, after 11 o’clock,” Allen said.