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Tandon’s New Maker Facility on Gold Street Opens Up a Garage-full of Possibility

ribbon cutting at MakerGarage

Dean Jelena Kovačević (second from right) is joined by students and staff to cut the ribbon on the new MakerGarage facility   Photo ©Hollenshead: Courtesy of NYU Photo Bureau

The Clocktower Building, a 1920s cast-concrete edifice at 325 Gold Street in Downtown Brooklyn, possesses an undeniable character-filled charm — some would say much like the borough itself. It’s a fitting home for NYU Tandon’s newest facility, the MakerGarage.

With so many large-scale projects being created at the MakerSpace at 6 MetroTech, students were rapidly running out of room to work and store their materials. The MakerGarage is a much-welcome addition, particularly for participants in Tandon’s Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) program, which allows students to choose a hands-on project and work on it throughout much of their academic careers.

“VIP has burgeoned over the last few years,” program co-director Jack Bringardner says. “NYU Tandon Motorsports, which involves building actual off-road vehicles; Rogue Aerospace, our rocketry initiative; our SpaceX Hyperloop team; a massive, high-tech vertical-farming project ... those are exciting kinds of things to work on, but you can imagine how much floor space and storage they take up.”

 

The MakerGarage features a large, shared co-working area with dedicated work benches and lockable storage for each team, as well as a shared tools area, a small computer lab, student lounge area, two conference rooms, and a video conferencing or recording studio. “The MakerSpace will be officially managing the garage,” MakerSpace founding director Victoria Bill explains. “But it is going to be run entirely by and for the students.”

NYU Tandon Dean Jelena Kovačević thanked Bill, Bringardner, VIP co-director Peter Voltz, Assistant Director of Administration Ruth Griffey, Interim Senior Vice Dean for Finance and Administration Pat Bowers, Director of Technical Services and Facility Planning Maey Khaled, and other colleagues for their dedication to launching the MakerGarage before cutting the large violet-colored ribbon to officially open the space. As VIP teams that had already moved their projects to 325 Gold milled around exploring, the energy was so exhilarating that one guest was unexpectedly moved to speak up. “This building has a long history of housing creative people,” Clocktower owner Robert Iannucci enthusiastically asserted, “and I’m happy to have NYU and its students here putting it to good, creative, community-based use.”