Exterior of the SUNY Global Center in NYC.
Global Center History

Brief History of the SUNY Global Center

Built in 1927, the building that is today home to the SUNY Global Center began as the home of William Ziegler Jr., heir to the Royal Baking Powder Company fortune. In an era when wealthy New Yorkers desired elegant homes derived from Renaissance, Gothic, and French influences, Ziegler commissioned William Lawrence Bottomley, a young architect with an affinity for the clean lines and balance of Georgian-style architecture, to design the house, replacing the earlier brownstones that stood at 116 and 118 East 55th Street.

This three-bay, four-story mansion is quintessentially American in design and detail. Clad in Flemish bond red brick and a slate-tiled roof and framed by a grand brick and iron fence, the Ziegler house was one of the last grand private homes to be built in Manhattan and is a striking relic of the glamorous years before the Great Depression. Although the once lavish interiors were converted to offices following Ziegler’s death in 1958, the mansion’s exterior design has survived through its many uses, including the two cast-iron eagles with outspread wings that flank the front entrance. The building was designated a historic landmark by the New York City Landmark Preservation Commission in 2001.

The State University of New York acquired the building in 2005, and since 2014 it has been the home of SUNY System Administration’s only satellite office outside of Albany.

For more information about the building, see The Architecture of William Lawrence Bottomley written by Susan Hume Frazer.


More information about the SUNY Global Center in New York City:

Global Center History   Global Center Facility Tour   NYC Neighborhood Options   NYC Facilities Request

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