Loretta Lawrence Keane, Vice President for Advancement and External Relations
Cheri Fein, Executive Director of Public and Media Relations 212 217.4700In September 2008, The West 31st Street residence was named the George S. and Mariana Kaufman Residence Hall in recognition of the Kaufmans’ $4 million gift, which transformed a former book bindery and office building into the 320,000 square-foot luxury residence for students, and the vital role Mr. Kaufman played in the acquisition and development of the building.
''We are pleased to name our newest residence hall in honor of George and Mariana Kaufman'' said Dr. Joyce F. Brown, FIT president. ''In addition to their exceptionally generous gift, George brought his invaluable real estate experience and expertise to FIT when the transaction for the building was being negotiated. This naming ceremony commemorates the support the Kaufmans have given us over the years.''
Opened in 2006, Kaufman Hall is FIT’s fourth and largest student residence, providing comfortable, affordable housing for 1,100 students. The 15-story building was completely renovated to create 497 single, double, triple, and four-bed suites, each with private bath, kitchen and dining area. The suites feature central air conditioning, high-speed wireless internet, and cable TV. Building amenities include a cyber/study lounge, a fully-equipped fitness room, a large laundry room, a staffed mailroom, 24-hour on-site security, and administrative offices. Kaufman Hall nearly doubled FIT's residence space and helped ease a serious decades-long shortage of on-campus housing.
New York-based real estate developer, civic leader, and philanthropist, George S. Kaufman is chairman of Kaufman Astoria Studios, which he made into a leading entertainment and telecommunications production and office center. He also serves as the president and chief operating officer of Kaufman Realty Corporation, which, for the past 45 years, has owned, managed and developed commercial and residential properties, including office buildings, apartment buildings, and shopping centers located primarily in the New York City area.
Mr. Kaufman is chairman of the board of the Fashion Center Business Improvement District, president of the Midtown Real Estate Owners Association, and a member of the Real Estate Board of New York. He also is a member of the board of trustees of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of the Moving Image, and the Hall of Science Museum.