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In a Long Island building where weapons-guidance systems were once made and that temporarily housed the first United Nations General Assembly, a young architect named Stanley Cole worked for the firm Harrison & Abramovitz designing a permanent home for the U.N. in Manhattan. After the U.N. headquarters was finished in the early 50s, the Long Island structure went back to housing a factory for missile gyroscopes, and Cole went on to form EwingCole architects in 1961, says Andrew Jarvis, chairman and chief executive officer of the Philadelphia-based firm.
Jarvis and his company helped put the 1.4 million-square-foot, one-story building through another transformation just last year. In its latest incarnation, the building houses a cancer treatment center, a metamorphosis made possible by planting an orchard of indoor trees, taking advantage of the existing huge skylights and creating an interior Main Street in the front of the building to make the facility more welcoming.