Lehman Hall, set to be demolished this December.

Barnard is planning to knock down Lehman Hall, which holds its library and faculty offices, and replace it with a new five-story building holding a library and classrooms, attached to a 12-story tower holding offices and a science center.

The college expects to demolish Lehman starting in December, and have the new building open by August 2018. The Columbia Spectator has covered the issue closely, with a more comprehensive story here.

Neighbors have been watching the plans closely, as it could affect their views and light on Claremont Avenue in particular — Frank Wolf, Dean Emeritus of Columbia’s School of Continuing Education says the school met with residents last June, but has not been nearly as forthcoming as they’d like. “They said they want to involve neighbors in the process but they mean exactly the opposite,” he wrote to us last month.

Joanne Kwong, a spokesperson for Barnard, told us last month that the college was taking the concerns of locals into account.

“We are very aware of and sensitive to the impact that construction may have on the surrounding area, including Claremont. We have been in regular contact with representatives from the Claremont residents throughout the initial planning phase of this project, and will continue to do so.”

This week, those plans could come into clearer focus, as Barnard holds a meeting for local residents. Read more below:


6–8 PM



Please join Barnard College representatives and fellow Claremont residents for a presentation and discussion addressing Barnard’s  plans to build a new building on the current site of Lehman Hall.

The program will be as follows: welcome by Barnard’s VP for Communications; brief overview of the project by the Chief Operating Officer; remarks by Frank Wolf on behalf of the residents; presentation of the current design by architects Skidmore Owings and Merrill; and rest of the time will be for discussion, questions and answers.

The project is nearing the end of the Design Development phase. This is the third consultative meeting held with Claremont residents about the design of the new building. A meeting addressing construction issues will be held later in the year.

For planning purposes, please RSVP to with your name and building number.

If you have questions in advance of the meeting, you may contact:



Resident, Claremont Avenue


Frank adds: “You do not need to respond to Barnard to tell them you are coming.  It’s just a request.  Barnard Hall is directly in front of the main gate of Barnard at 117th & broadway (there is no 117th but where it would be if it existed), then up to 4th floor.”

Photo via Barnard.

NEWS, REAL ESTATE | 4 comments | permalink
    1. wilh says:

      WSR, can you tell us where Lehman hall is located?

    2. Frank Wolf says:

      The comment I made about Barnard’s not being forthcoming was made in January and is long out of date. WSR was mistaken in saying it was “a month ago.”

      • West Sider says:

        It was in an email on Feb. 6. But glad to hear they’re being more forthcoming. Avi