New York is a college town with sprawling campuses rivaling anything in Boston or beyond. Columbia University’s campus, almost all of it designed by McKim, Mead and White, has a great classical scale and wonderful sound as it is a vast enclosed public space, like a Roman piazza. The campus of City College has some great Collegiate Gothic architecture, especially the Great Hall. Students at the Juilliard School will tell you, the campus at Lincoln Center, which has been marvelously re-imagined by Diller Scofidio and Renfro, is a great place to spend time. Make sure to visit before the performances when the new center fountain is putting on its water pyrotechnics.
Adrian Benepe has been commissioner of the Department of Parks & Recreation since 2002. He oversees the operation of over 29,000 acres and nearly 4,000 properties including over 1,000 playgrounds, 600 ballfields, 600 tennis courts, 63 swimming pools, 35 recreation centers, 14 miles of beach and over 2.5 million street and park trees.