Alumni Short

New Construction: Phase One Giving Opportunities

Phase One of the Law School's construction project is well underway and offers distinctive giving opportunities for alumni and friends of Cornell Law School.  The new Wing for Academic Instruction includes an auditorium; two large lecture halls; and a multipurpose lobby.  A new main entrance to Myron Taylor Hall, comprising a front plaza and spacious lobby, also will be completed during Phase One.  To learn more about these new spaces, please review the descriptions that follow the list of giving opportunities, which appears directly below.  Alumni and friends interested in providing direct support for Phase One are encouraged to telephone Peter Cronin, Associate Dean of Alumni Affairs & Development, at (607) 255-3370; or to write to him at

Space Square Feet
Giving Level
Wing for Academic Instruction 
Auditorium (170 seats)   
Lecture Hall #1 (70 seats) 
Lecture Hall #2 (70 seats) 
Multipurpose Lobby 
Myron Taylor Hall entry lobby
North Plaza, Purcell Courtyard
South Plaza, Purcell Courtyard

Wing for Academic Instruction

The new wing of Myron Taylor Hall comprises a 170-seat auditorium; two 70-seat lecture halls; a large main lobby/special event area suitable for receptions; and ancillary spaces, such as restrooms and a mechanical basement.  The lobby offers direct access to Purcell Courtyard through two double-wide doors and features a wall of glass outfitted with interior louvers to filter the sunlight. The two new lecture halls and an auditorium will be set in the ground below the front lawn adjoining College Avenue; the roof of these spaces will be a “green” roof.  This wing is a wholly new construction. 


The new auditorium features tiered, law school amphitheater-style seating for 170 persons, table-style desks, center-placed slate writing boards and a retractable video screen, two flanking video screens, and convenient and immediate access to the main lobby/special events area.  The auditorium is equipped with state-of-the-art audio/visual hardware and wireless digital communications that enable distance-learning and video conferencing.  This space is eminently suitable to host the largest classes and meetings of multiple sections, as well as high-profile symposia, conferences, lectures, guest speakers, and high-attendance Reunion events.  The new auditorium is the largest space for academic instruction in Myron Taylor Hall.

Lecture Halls #1 and #2

Two new lecture halls stand on either side of the auditorium and, like it, enjoy direct access to the lobby/special events area.  These lecture halls are identical to each other and offer the same capabilities for distance-learning and video conferencing as the auditorium, with law school amphitheater-style seating for 70 persons.  Table-style desks, center-placed slate writing boards and retractable video screen, and two flanking video screens are key features, as are state-of-the-art audio/visual hardware and wireless digital communications.  These lecture halls are essential for the faculty to conduct large classes and are suitable to host symposia, conferences, guest lecturers and speakers, and selected Reunion events.

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Multipurpose Lobby

The multipurpose lobby serves as both a comfortable and convenient passageway between Myron Taylor Hall and Anabel Taylor Hall, and as a welcoming, open, atrium-style space that opens directly onto the Purcell Courtyard via two glass double-doors.  The lobby’s exterior wall is glass; sunlight is filtered by full-length louvers.  The space is dramatic and dignified, in keeping with the architectural ethos of the original building.  By inviting the greenspace and sunlight of Purcell Courtyard into the new wing, it is also exceedingly pleasant.

Myron Taylor Hall Entry Plaza

The new entry plaza to Myron Taylor Hall is a significant array of fitted stonework, landscaped greenspace, concrete stairs, and integrated pavement.  All together, these elements combine to create a distinctive plaza of close to 5,000 square feet.  A half-flight of steps that matches the grade of the College Avenue slope leads up to the double-door entrance.  Seatwalls (roughly, quarter-height walls), probably of Llenroc, possibly of fieldstone or Colonial wallstone, will have flat concrete tops and will separate the steps from a sloping, appropriately landscaped greenspace.  The greenspace provides a buffer between the main entrance and College Avenue.  From the College Avenue sidewalk, a level walkway some eighteen or twenty feet wide runs between the seatwalls and leads directly to the double-door entrance.  This entry plaza creates a promontory at the main entrance and identifies Cornell Law School distinctively on its College Avenue prospect.

Myron Taylor Hall Entrance and Lobby

The new entrance to Myron Taylor Hall faces College Avenue and offers a distinctive welcome to students, faculty, alumni, staff, and friends, as well as casual visitors interested in seeing one of the finest law schools in the land.  The exterior of the new entrance features bronze-framed double-doors; full-length, sectioned plate-glass; and "Cornell Law School" cut into the stone lintel.  In its appearance and design, this entrance is consistent with the building's original collegiate Gothic architecture and provides a clearly-defined and distinguished gateway to Myron Taylor Hall.

The new lobby retains the original wood paneling of room 273, which formerly existed in this location, as well as its fireplace, and incorporates these elements into a newly-designed, foyer-like space.  The lobby features Craftsman-style woodwork done to exacting standards of fit and finish.  Expanding from fifteen to forty-five feet in width, this interior space is distinctive and welcoming.  It offers comfortable seating and ample table space, as well as large-screen LCD displays.  In its size, prominent location, and assertive design, the new front lobby is a dignified and beautiful entryway to Myron Taylor Hall.

North and South Plazas, Purcell Courtyard

The North Plaza and the South Plaza are distinct entities that will be situated within the Purcell Courtyard and will make that space more useful and more beautiful.  The Plazas will reform the Courtyard's ambiance by providing visual focal points, as well as attractive and comfortable places for students, alumni, faculty, and guests to gather, mingle, and converse.  Together, the North and South Plazas will provide more than 10,000 square feet of patio-style space.  The South Plaza will include four stone-slab benches fifteen feet long and two feet wide.  The North Plaza will offer casual seating at appropriate, patio-style tables and matching chairs.

Courtyard benches

Four granite, megalith-style courtyard benches will be prominent features of the plaza at the south end of the Purcell Courtyard.  These benches are decorative and functional.  Each one will be two feet wide and from five to fifteen feet long, depending on the design requirements of the space.

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