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Work in Progress, continued

Photos by Greg Benson

Work proceeds in the Perelman Quadrangle.

 

34th to 38th Street, South Side–A tale of two quadrangles
   
Progress on Perelman Quad. The Perelman Quadrangle, named for Ronald O. Perelman W’64 WG’66, who gave $20 million toward the project, will create a new undergraduate student center by linking Houston Hall, College Hall, Logan Hall, Williams Hall and Irvine Auditorium around a central plaza, to be called Wynn Commons (for Stephen A. Wynn C’63, who is contributing $7.5 million). Architects on the project are Venturi Scott Brown and Associates.

Photos by Greg Benson

Irvine Auditorium's colorful murals
have been painstakingly restored.

    The future Wynn Commons still resembles an archaeological dig as work continues to expand Houston Hall’s basement, but renovations to Irvine Auditorium were completed in August. Besides improving the acoustics of the space and adding a small recital hall and café, the work also included restoration of the building interior–a particularly striking aspect of which is the hall’s distinctive murals. The first event to be scheduled in Irvine was President Rodin’s remarks to parents on September 4; the entire Perelman Quad project is to be finished by next summer.
   
Cool in the Quad. Air-conditioning in the Quad? The idea brought gasps of disbelief and mock-protest when Larry Moneta, associate vice president for campus services, briefed the Alumni Society’s executive board on the renovation program last spring. Scheduled to run over four summers (1999-2002), the $75 million project will do a lot more than cool the one-time men’s dormitories, more recently the precinct of Penn’s freshman class–and envisioned as a home for students of all classes under the college-house system established last year (see story on page 32). The exterior brick will be cleaned and repointed, and extensive landscaping will restore the area as well as improve drainage. On the inside, the electrical system will be upgraded and new plumbing and bathroom fixtures will be installed, as well as elevators and other adjustments in line with the Americans With Disabilities Act.
   
The infrastructure renovations are being done in conjunction with a reorganization of the space in the Quad into three college houses, each grouped around its own courtyard. (This was the recommendation of a committee composed of faculty and students living in the four college houses headquartered in the Quad this past year.) The design, by Ewing Cole Cherry Brott, will add a new entrance on Hamilton Walk and reconfigure interior space to accommodate offices, computer-lab and study space–"all the core college house/hub facilities," says Moneta.
   
Landscape consultant Andropogon Associates "has looked at all the original landscaping," he adds. "To the best of our ability, we’re going to restore some of the original character [within the context of] a fully contemporary landscape design. We’re talking about beautiful benchwork and park-like settings and recreation space."

Photos by Greg Benson

Quad renovations
began this summer.

 

 

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