Martha Van Rensselaer Hall
The Martha Van Rensselaer Hall Complex is the heart of the College of Human Ecology. Named in honor of Martha Van Rensselaer a pioneer and extension leader in the field of home economics and founder and original co-director of the College of Home Economics, MVR Hall is registered with the New York State National Registers of Historic Places. Totaling 327,725 square feet, MVR provides the College with auditoriums, classrooms, seminar rooms, distance learning rooms, student computing facilities, design studios, faculty offices, laboratories, and other specialized research facilities, as well as housing the College administration.
Designed and constructed as home to the College of Home Economic, the original 199,753 sf of MVR hall was built in 1931-33 with state appropriations of just under $1 million. Design was performed by William Haugaard of the NY State Dormitory Authority. At time of occupancy, the original ’33 building provided the College with an Auditorium, a tea room and cafeteria, a reading room, a costume shop, teaching kitchen, gallery, nursery, and student housing. Today, many of these same elements exist in the College in much the same way as originally designed. In 1968, a 87,307 sf addition designed by Ulrich Franzen was added to the north side MVR Hall. This addition provided much needed faculty research and student studio and laboratory spaces to the College. Unfortunately, North MVR was closed in 2001 due to structural deficiencies. This building was demolished in 2005. Currently work is underway to design and build a replacement building. (See MVR '33 for additional information on this effort.) In 2001, a 40,665 sf addition designed by HOLT Architects was added to the west of MVR to provide state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities of the College. The West Addition provides the College with two 135 seat auditoriums, a 50 person distance learning room, one 30 and one 50 seat electronic classrooms, a 35 seat CAD instruction lab, and houses the Frances A. Johnston and Charlotte M. Young Human Metabolic Research Unit.
Facts and Figures
MVR Complex is currently comprised of the 1933 Building, the East Building, and the West Addition.
- Constructed in 1931-1933 by the NY State Dormitory Authority
- Construction Cost: ~$1million GSF: 171,648
- Constructed along with MVR 33 in 1931-1933 by the NY State Dormitory Authority
- Construction Cost: part of the original ~$1million GSF: 28,105
- Constructed in 2001 by the NY State University Construction Fund
- Construction cost: $8,388,000 GSF: 40,655
- Constructed in 1968 by the NY State University Construction Fund
- Construction Cost: GSF: 87,307
- Demolished in 2006 by the NY State University Construction Fund
- CAD Labs
- Martha's Cafe: Located in the basement of MVR Hall, Cornell Dining provides Ithaca Coffee Company coffees, breakfast sandwiches, soups, salads, deli sandwiches, pizzas, hot Mexican entrees and many other grab and go items.
Regular hours of operation:
Monday - Thursday 7:00AM-3:30PM
A 24hour vending alcove and Tompkins Trust Company ATM are available.
To report facilities problems or concerns, please contact:
For further information, please visit the Office of Facilities Service page.
For more information on future improvements and how you can contribute, see Capital Improvements.