Francis Coiro

Class Of
Franklin Square, New York
Francis Coiro

Francis Coiro’s first love was set design. His father, on the other hand, suggested an alternative. He said, ‘You can design something that’s going to be knocked down or something that will stand for life,’ says Coiro, so I decided to study architecture. Over the course of his career, he has managed to follow both his father’s advice and his own dreams. As a project executive in design and construction, he has overseen the development of some of New York City’s most recognizable sites, including the renovations of Radio City Music Hall and the New Amsterdam Theatre.

Coiro recently worked on another iconic project: the One World Observatory. The three-story observatory and multimedia experience atop One World Trade Center was developed by Legends, where Coiro serves as vice president of project management and project executive.

As an architecture student in the 1970s, Coiro’s NYIT experience was rather different than it is for today’s NYIT students, and not only because the Manhattan campus was located on Seventh Avenue and 57th Street. There were Vietnam vets on the GI Bill along with 20-year-olds who thought that Animal House was a guide to college, he recalls. The two different planes of people made things interesting. Although he had some architecture experience, he had to manage a steep learning curve. Nevertheless, the curriculum suited his style. NYIT taught us the technology of architecture. They pursued people like me, who had a passion for the way buildings worked. And they put a lot of smart building people into the industry.

After graduating, Coiro took a job with New York Telephone handling its construction projects. There he found his niche and decided to focus on being a liaison between business executives and design and construction firms. In addition to working on numerous building projects, Coiro supervised the design and construction of the studios for CBS This Morning and oversaw MTV’s design and construction projects at 1515 Broadway while at Viacom.

Coiro is always excited about what’s next--even after working on a high-profile project like One World Observatory. He also has advice for graduates who hope to chart a similar course. There’s no such thing as too robust a network, he says. Make a good impression everywhere you go, draw on your experience, and always be willing to take your skill set and apply it to something new.

My Favorite Thing:

Favorite Professor:

Marty Rich was the first professor I had that saw my potential as an architect. He made me believe in myself and gave me confidence at a point I really needed it.

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