Renovation of Historic 15 Washington Will Expand Graduate Housing

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15 Washington Street now (left) and architectural rendering (right)

Rutgers University in Newark will be expanding housing for graduate students, following approval by the University’s Board of Governors today to renovate the building at 15 Washington Street in downtown Newark.   The plan for 15 Washington Street, a building that housed Rutgers School of Law-Newark from 1978 to 1999, will provide housing for 350 graduate students in one to four-bedroom units.

“We are extremely pleased to be moving forward on this project,” noted Interim Chancellor Philip Yeagle.  “With expanding graduate student    enrollment at Rutgers-Newark, we have seen increased demand for on-campus housing.  This project not only answers that need but brings further economic stimulus to a critical area of downtown Newark.”

15 Washington Street is located in the same block as the Rutgers Business School’s new home at 1 Washington Park, which opened in 2009.

Rutgers-Newark’s graduate student body is  4,339 (fall 2011), with students enrolled at the School of Law-Newark, Rutgers Business School, the Graduate School, College of Nursing, School of Criminal Justice, Division of Global Affairs, and the School of Public Affairs and Administration.

The renovation of 15 Washington Street has a projected budget of $71 million, to be financed through grants, tax credits and bond issues.  Bidding for the project is scheduled to begin next year and the projected two-year period of construction is scheduled to begin in October 2013.

15 Washington Street is one of the most celebrated examples of early 20th century neo-classical architecture in Newark.  The 17-story structure was designed by the architectural firm John H. & Wilson C. Ely and opened in 1929 as a home of the American Insurance Company. 

In 1978 the building opened as the S.I. Newhouse Center for Law and Justice, home to Rutgers School of Law-Newark and Rutgers School of Criminal Justice.  Samuel I. Newhouse, a 1916 graduate of the New Jersey Law School (later to become Rutgers School of Law-Newark) founded one of the world’s largest newspaper and magazine publishing companies, Advance Publications.