Begrisch Hall at Bronx Community College

STATUS Designated Individual Landmark


ARCHITECT: Marcel Breuer and Associates

DATE: 1956-1961

STYLE: Brutalism

Completed in 1961, Begrisch Hall stands in the southwest section of the campus of Bronx Community College, located in University Heights. This remarkable trapezoidal structure was designed by Marcel Breuer, one of the midtwentieth century’s leading architects. Breuer, who emigrated to the United States to join the faculty at Harvard University in 1937, began his career at the Bauhaus in Germany, studying design and serving as head of the carpentry workshop. During the late 1940s, New York University embarked on a major building campaign. Many prominent architects participated, including Breuer who relocated his practice to New York City in 1946 and was commissioned in 1956 to design a comprehensive master plan for the University Heights campus. Among the five structures built, Begrisch Hall was the most daring. Executed in exposed reinforced concrete, it features a pair of sloping cantilevers that spring from side-wall trusses and appear to defy gravity. These bold sculptural forms reflect specific programmatic requirements, enclosing a pair of steep-floored lecture halls, seating a combined two hundred-and-fifty students. These elevated rooms are reached by a staircase that rises from ground level and by an enclosed concrete bridge connected to the Gould Technology Building. The principal facades, at east and west, are decorated with intersecting channels that divide the textured walls into triangles, trapezoids and rectangles. An important work by this noted architect, Begrisch Hall exemplifies his later career, a period when Breuer frequently investigated the expressive qualities of reinforced concrete, anticipating such notable structures as the Whitney Museum of American Art.

STATUS Designated Individual Landmark

Take Action

Add the next LPC meeting to your calendar.

Let your local representative know you care.
nyc.gov

Share your photos of this neighborhood

Help preserve New York’s architectural history with a contribution to HDC

$10 $25 $50
Other >
The Neighborhood

The Bronx

The only borough contiguous with the mainland of the United States, the Bronx was named for Jonas Bronck who established a settlement in the area in 1639. The Bronx’s main thoroughfare, the Grand Concourse, was conceived as part of the City Beautiful movement. It was...

Aaron Dexter, Academic Classic, Adamesque, Addisleigh Park, Admiral's Row, African American, Al Smith, American Aesthetic, American Art Deco, American Colonial, ... VIEW ALL

Explore the Neighborhood >

Local Voices

“I don’t know what the City would be without HDC. [They] testified before LPC time after time and helped us focus on the right issues. We would not be an historic district without HDC! ”

Doreen Gallo: DUMBO Neighborhood Alliance

Local Voices

“Use HDC as a resource because they know what they are doing and can offer advice on how to go about creating a district from every front: architectural, political, LPC, and the media. I had floundered prior to my involvement with this invaluable organization.”

Fern Luskin: Lamartine Place Historic District; Friends of Lamartine Place & Gibbons Underground Railroad Site

Local Voices

“HDC provided guidance and shared information during that process—we knew which Council members were going one way or another and we changed a few minds. I don’t think NoHo would have had as cohesive a district had it not been for HDC’s aid.”

Zella Jones: NoHo Historic District; NoHo East; and NoHo Extension

Local Voices

“I remember Richard saying at a meeting, we have someone here from HDC, Nadezhda Williams, Director of Preservation and Research, to help us. She said to us, ‘You are not the only ones going through this.’ HDC included us in an enormous community”

Erika Petersen: West End Preservation Society

Local Voices

"HDC has begun a series of projects to highlight the Bronx's architectural and cultural history. From booklet's and research highlighting specific sites and historic districts to the HDC's symposium in October 2018 to the latest community-based committee to look into further possible sites to qualify for landmarking, the HDC has established projects that will serve the Bronx community well."

Elena Martinez
City Lore, Folklorist
Bronx Music Heritage Center, Co-Artistic Director

Local Voices

"Welcome2TheBronx is grateful for the advocacy done by the Historic Districts Council on behalf of the people of The Bronx. Through their deep connections and understanding of the importance of preserving our local histories, The Bronx has been able to have several spotlights shown on endangered communities as gentrification creeps into the borough."

Ed García Conde,
founder and Executive Director,
Welcome2TheBronx