ARCH Gift Announcement
April 26, 2011
The University of Pennsylvania has received a $15 million gift from an anonymous donor to renovate the historic Arts, Research and Culture House, to create a center for campus life that builds on the cultural diversity of Penn students and offers a rich intellectual and social experience for the entire University community.
The building, located at 36th Street and Locust Walk in the heart of Penn’s campus, was built in 1928 and is listed in the Pennsylvania Register of Historic Places. It currently houses three cultural resource centers, La Casa Latina, Makuu: The Black Cultural Center and the Pan Asian American Community House; as well as the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships; a classroom; an auditorium; and community spaces.
“This incredibly generous gift will transform a beloved landmark for new generations of students and help to ensure that arts, culture and undergraduate student research at Penn continue to thrive,” Penn President Amy Gutmann said. “The renovated ARCH building will be a campus hub, offering our students intellectual and artistic stimulation, state-of-the-art technology and spots to study, as well as opportunities to engage in diverse activities that define and distinguish the Penn experience. By providing this gift, our donor will enable us to greatly enhance the quality of the student experience.”
New plans call for an outdoor terrace on Locust Walk and an indoor café with a nearby lounge and gallery. The new open plan for the first floor contains a common “living room” with comfortable seating, paneling, stone fireplaces and leaded glass windows that reflect the building’s historic provenance.
The renovation is expected to be completed by early 2014. It contains plans for an outdoor terrace on Locust Walk and an indoor café with a nearby lounge and gallery. The new open plan for the first floor contains a common “living room” with comfortable seating, paneling, stone fireplaces and leaded glass windows that reflect the building’s historic provenance. When this project is completed in spring 2014, the ARCH will be a harmony of past and present -- beautiful architectural details enhanced by state-of-the-art technology.
Over the next two years -- during the design and construction phase of the ARCH -- President Gutmann will also provide funding for a new VPUL and student-led initiative. This initiative will help the cultural centers increase their outreach and promote greater engagement across the entire Penn community.
Photos by Stuart A. Watson