Groundbreaking News: Former Home of BTI to Undergo Renovation
The long-empty building that once housed the Boyce Thompson Institute in Yonkers is about to come back to life.
Groundbreaking began June 10 to transform the former Boyce Thompson Institute in Yonkers, New York into the Boyce Thompson Center, a mixed-use facility with medical and office space, restaurants and retail stores.
The original BTI building opened in 1924 when BTI’s founder, William Thompson built the facility across the street from his Yonkers mansion. The building has been empty since 1978 when BTI relocated to its current spot on the Cornell University campus in Ithaca, N.Y.
Simone Development Companies will be renovating the building using materials that complement its historic architecture. They will also add an 18,000-square-foot addition onto the south side with a glass structure that mimics the site’s original greenhouses.
Professor Emeritus Alan Renwick attended the groundbreaking ceremony and spoke with the developer about the building’s history. While in Yonkers, Renwick connected with David Lerner, a former BTI high school intern who lives in the area. Lerner recalled fond memories of working with former BTI researcher Zohara Yaniv in the laboratory of Professor Emeritus Dick Staples. The Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano and assorted politicians and businessmen were also in attendance at the groundbreaking ceremony.
Though he could not enter the building, Renwick said that he could point to his old laboratory window, which once overlooked the golf course of the Hudson River Country Club. Renwick worked at the Yonkers location from 1960-78.
BTI plans to collaborate with the developers to create a historical display within the building to showcase its legacy as a premier plant research facility.
The $35 million project is scheduled for completion in January 2017.