As we go to press, we are beginning to say goodbye to our home at 65-21 Main Street in Flushing. Although our move to 2 Court Square has been long in the making, we are still grateful for the memories of our longtime home.
In this issue, you will hear reflections on the move from three of our first staff members: Verleatha Hill in the Clinic, Debbie Rothenberg in Admissions, and Seth Goldstein in Engineering, who have been with CUNY Law since the beginning. We also celebrate 15 years of the Economic Justice Project, which got its start on Main Street, and we feature alums working in our innovative Incubator for Justice project.
The next issue of the magazine will feature photos and greater detail about our beautiful new space. As a preview, however, I thought I would take you on a brief armchair tour of some of the highlights of what you will find when you visit, which we hope you will do often.
To ensure that our values are reflected architecturally in this new space, we conducted a listening tour with the architects at the beginning of the building renovation process. The three themes that arose from the CUNY Law community were to: proclaim our social justice mission; bring nature and the labyrinth into the new space (because we will not have the backyard of our current facility); and stamp a clear CUNY Law identity on our new home.
The renovations respond to these desires. Around the front of the building, a series of banners will proclaim "Law in the Service of Human Needs" in the six official languages of the United Nations (Arabic, English, French, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, and Spanish). The five elevator lobbies will each contain one of the five foundational human rights documents on its wall and ceiling: the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights; the Bill of Rights; the European Convention on Human Rights; the Inter-American Charter on Human Rights; and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
A three-story atrium, the "Beacon," anchors the northeast corner of the building. The Beacon floor is made of blue terrazzo flowing into the shape of a labyrinth. The Beacon's large wall will feature a multilayered art piece of painted wood and vertically carved saplings.
A structural column with several horizontal support beams, the "Tree," will rise through the three stories of the Beacon. We plan to inscribe the Tree with inspiring words of social justice, the way a person sometimes carves the name of a beloved into bark. The entire community of students, staff, and faculty selected the words for the Tree.
The auditorium, where we plan to hold major community events, lectures, and symposia, is state-of-the-art. To have a break from the stress of law school, we have set aside space for meditation and yoga. There is much more classroom and study space throughout the new building. Notably, as we've mentioned before, 2 Court Square puts us at a central transportation hub with easy access to subway lines, buses, and the Long Island Railroad.
We will see you soon at our new home!
Michelle J. Anderson
Dean and Professor of Law