Penn Connects 2.0: Envisioning the Future

In 2006, Penn had a vision.

Anne Papageorge, Penn’s vice president for Facilities and Real Estate Services, says the first phase of the campus blueprint, called Penn Connects, made the goals of President Amy Gutmann’s Penn Compact real.

In the past half-dozen years, Penn Connects projects have literally transformed the University. New construction, such as the Annenberg Public Policy Center, Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine, and Weiss Pavilion changed the skyline of campus. Significant renovations to the Music Building, DuBois College House, and the first phase of the Penn Museum’s West Wing project (among others) have given beloved buildings a second life.

The second phase of the plan, Penn Connects 2.0, promises to be just as transformative.

“Penn Connects 2.0 is an updated, renewed vision for the next five years and the 20 years beyond that,” Papageorge says. “There are things in it that are new, but there are many things in it that are a continuation of the principles of the original plan … teaching and research, the living-learning environment and connectivity—the connections to our community and also to Center City—and lastly, our future growth.”

One major project, Penn Park, which opened in the fall of 2011, has changed the eastern side of campus by replacing surface parking lots with a green oasis.

Additionally, the recent acquisition of the South Bank lands, formerly the DuPont Marshall Laboratory site along Grays Ferry Avenue, promises to transform Penn’s southern edge, as well.

In all, a bevy of new construction, renovations, streetscape, and open space plans will reshape Penn’s campus in the immediate future and for the decades to come.

Text by Heather A. Davis
Video by Steve Minicola, Kurtis Sensenig, and Scott Spitzer