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CSHL Holds “Topping” Ceremony for $100 Million Research Complex

President Stillman thanks hundreds of local craftsmen for work on this major LI project

Cold Spring Harbor, NY -- Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) celebrated a “topping” ceremony today, marking a milestone in the construction of the Laboratory’s $100 million dollar Hillside Campus research complex. Today’s ceremony was held in the center courtyard of the Hillside Campus where distinguished guests, colleagues, friends and members of Long Island’s talented construction trades gathered to commemorate the occasion.

A 13ft high stainless steel pyramid’s placement atop the 85ft tower

A topping ceremony is a tradition in the construction industry and is celebrated when a project’s “cap” or “crown” is placed on the building’s highest point. Invited guests proudly observed as a 10-foot-6 inch squared by 13-foot- high, 5,000-pound stainless steel pyramid was lifted by crane and secured to its new home atop an 85-foot ventilation tower.

In addition to the pyramid, a white steel beam autographed by hundreds of CSHL staff and visitors was first secured as part of the foundation for the “crown.”

Composed of six buildings totaling 100,000 square feet, when completed the Hillside Campus will increase total research space at CSHL by 40 percent. Fifteen new faculty and two hundred employees will conduct research on cancer, autism and schizophrenia in the new complex.

Bruce Stillman, Ph.D., president of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, welcomed the assembled crowd to the Hillside courtyard and thanked them for their superb work and commitment to their trade.    

“From the very beginning it has been our goal to maximize the number of Long Island-based contractors for this project. I’m happy to say we have succeeded. Many have rich histories on Long Island and have performed construction projects for the likes of Grumman and other industry giants during Long Island’s golden age of aerospace. Today these skilled craftsmen perform the same tasks for us here at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory as we stand on the cusp of what I believe is the next wave of economic expansion on Long Island with a new type of high technology. With over 1,000 employees on Long Island and more to come with the completion of the Hillside Campus project, CSHL continues to play a key role not only as a global leader in biomedical research, but also as a driver of the local economy,” explained Bruce Stillman.

“On behalf of CSHL, I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation to the contractors, subcontractors and suppliers for providing the excellent quality of construction that brings us to this critical milestone. We could not be more pleased by the care and professionalism they have demonstrated,” said Art Brings, vice president and chief facilities officer at CSHL.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is a private, nonprofit research and education institution dedicated to exploring molecular biology and genetics in order to advance the understanding and ability to diagnose and treat cancers, neurological diseases and other causes of human suffering.  For more information, visit

The 13ft high stainless steel pyramid, adorned with a US flag and some evergreen, is lifted by crane and secured atop an 85ft tower
A view of the ventilation tower from the center courtyard of Hillside Campus.

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Friends, colleagues and construction workers gathered for the topping ceremony
Art Brings, Vice President and Chief of Facilities, expresses his gratitude and appreciation to the craftsmen for their dedication and hard work

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As part of the underpinnings of the “crown,” this white steel beam is autographed by hundreds of CSHL staff and visitors
President of CSHL, Bruce Stillmen Ph.D, explains the benefits the Hillside Campus will bring to the scientific community and Long Island
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