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December 16, 2015

Ford Foundation to 'Reimagine' N.Y. Building in Renovation

Ford Foundation President Darren Walker tells The New York Times that the New York-based fund will use a city-mandated makeover of its headquarters to "reimagine the building as a public service facility." The 48-year-old Manhattan office tower, which no longer meets some safety and other building-code requirements, is set to close in September for a two-year, $190 million renovation.

The changes will include removing the palatial presidential suite in favor of more modest quarters for the foundation's leader and adding an art gallery, visitors' center, and assembly and reception spaces. The building as originally designed "is not compatible with our culture as an organization," Mr. Walker said. "It is hierarchical, off-putting, and inaccessible." The work will be financed with a 30-year bond.

Read a Chronicle of Philanthropy article about the Ford Foundation's shift in focus to tackling inequality and an audio interview with Darren Walker about the new direction.