Fordham Repaints Plaza Tiles

After+many+complaints+of+being+blinding+during+the+day%2C+the+floor+tiles+on+the+outdoor+Plaza+in+front+of+McKeon+were+given+a+light+gray+coat+of+paint.

GRACE SPIEGEL\THE OBSERVER

After many complaints of being blinding during the day, the floor tiles on the outdoor Plaza in front of McKeon were given a light gray coat of paint.

By SAMANTHA MATTHEWS, Contributing Writer

On Oct. 6, 2019, the bright white floor tiles outside of McKeon Hall on the outdoor plaza were repainted, after numerous complaints about the reflective glare on sunny days — this area is known as the Bickford Terrace.

Frank Simio, vice president of facilities for Lincoln Center, said, “On more than one occasion, the host of an event held on the Plaza handed out sunglasses to attendees.” 

The tiles were laid during the construction of McKeon Hall in 2014. Since they were installed, a misconception about the tile’s material has spread, largely as a rumor. Many students believe that the University installed roof tile to the plaza level that was designed to reflect sunlight, which is why they appear so bright in direct sunlight. 

“I’d heard that the University had accidentally installed roof tiles on the plaza,” said Carrington Gregori, Fordham College Lincoln Center ’22. “That’s why they’re so bright, right? To reflect sunlight.”

Simio said the tiles are not actually roof tiles, but considered to be “multi-purpose pavers.” 

According to Paul Frank, an architect and the Vice President of JP&C Construction, Inc., in Mount Vernon, New York and parent of a Fordham student, multi-purpose pavers can be used in any location and are durable enough to withstand weather, everyday foot traffic and even driving over, if necessary. 

Simio explained that the brightness of the tiles, however, was unintentional. “Unfortunately, the color selected did not work for us given the relatively large area covered by the pavers and the significant amount of sun exposure they receive,” said Simio.

According to Simio, “The Facilities Department was given the challenge of coming up with a solution to the problem. A test was performed for durability and now we are waiting for a sunny day to see how well our solution performs.” 

The new color chosen is an off-white with a grayish hue. “The color was selected to blend into the existing architecture and landscape,” said Simio. However, students aren’t noticing much of a difference to the new color. 

Molly Frank, FCLC ’23, said, “Honestly, I wasn’t here when they repainted so I didn’t even notice that they did anything. Although now I can kind of see it, but I think it’s still a little bright.” 

Reeya Vashist, FCLC ’23, said, “I walked past it and it wasn’t as blinding as usual. It was toned down a bit, but not much. It’s still bright.”