Breaking ground, cutting ribbons



Included in this special report:

Dining/40th Street continues its bid to become a hot dining destination.

Academics/New degree programs from cinema to computer games.

Wellness/Pottruck introduces Pilates and other options outside the gym.

Neighborhood/An image makeover for the special services district.

Buildings/Construction projects continue, and this fall sees the completion of two major buildings.

Networking/Wireless service continues to expand around campus.



Scaffolding and construction fencing seem to be part of the landscape at Penn these days. With half a dozen major building projects in the works—including the much-anticipated Skirkanich Hall on S. 33rd Street and continuing renovations to the Hamilton High Rise buildings—the dust is flying at a furious pace.

For those of us who yearn for closure, this fall promises some happy resolution. In October we’ll get to check out the transformed Hajoca Building, now home to WXPN and World Café Live, a new live music venue at 3025 Walnut. Soon after, the Translational Research Laboratory (architect’s rendering, right) will open right behind the Hajoca, in a former warehouse at 121 S. 31st Street. The folks in the office of Facilities and Real Estate Services are particularly excited about this venture, which will combine space for the School of Medicine with research labs for private industry.

Once the ribbon has been cut on these two projects, you can expect to see more ground broken at 34th and Walnut, where construction is set to begin in November on the new Robert A. M. Stern designed McNeil Center for Early American History. Stern, by the way is also at work on a tower at 17th and Arch streets in Center City.

Originally published on September 9, 2004