CLS Celebrates the Opening of Lenfest Hall


-- 211-Unit Residence Hall Welcomes Its Inaugural Occupants --

New York, NY - Columbia Law School marked the official opening of Lenfest Hall, the much-anticipated residence hall named for H.F. (Gerry) Lenfest '58 and his wife Marguerite, with a ribbon cutting ceremony and reception held on October 2, 2003.

The student residence, which welcomed its first occupants in August, contains 209 student apartments, including private studios ranging in size from 320 to 412 square feet, and one-bedroom apartments ranging from 380 to 648 square feet, all fully furnished with private bathrooms and kitchens.

The building offers a range of amenities, including study rooms and, eventually, a rear bamboo garden, as well as a recreation room with a pool table and other activities. Some apartments include terraces and many offer spectacular views of Morningside Park and historic Riverside Church. There are also two apartments for visiting faculty.

Dean David Leebron noted that "Lenfest was designed specifically for our law students with substantial input from them in determining the final design and furnishing of the apartments."

The apartments, designed by New York architects Gruzen Samton, were planned as flexible spaces that can be personalized to the lifestyle and personal preferences of each occupant.

Scott Keller, Gruzen Samton partner-in-charge of the project, said: "In designing the building, our goal was to provide the scale and detail appropriate for the residential neighborhood in which it resides. The overall character of the architecture relates to that of traditional upper West Side buildings, translated into a modern idiom that's appropriate to the present."

To date, the response from Lenfest Hall's new residents has been overwhelmingly positive. According to Ross Fieldston, a second year law student who recently transferred to Columbia, "Living so close to campus, in such a nice building, has certainly made my transition an easy and enjoyable one."

Paul Norman Mc Lean Cowling, an LL.M. student, concurred with Mr. Fieldston and added that the proximity to the Law School and layout of the apartments really enhanced his experience at Columbia.

Columbia Law School received a gift of $15 million from H.F. (Gerry) Lenfest, an alumnus of the class of 1958, and his wife, Marguerite, to create the project.