University recent Master Plans (archive)

This page is a service of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference,
its Development, Preservation and Zoning Committee
and its website,
Help support our work: Join the Conference!

Material that was in the "University Master Plans" file has been transferred and archived here. At public meetings in 2011 University spokespersons said the University has decided to discontinue making "master plans."
You can see plans and discussions here of changes proposed and completed here, in South Campus Plan, and many other pages (files) as well as in the the University's websites- main, News, Maps, Construction.

Page index

THE UNIV. ANNOUNCED AT A THOROUGH MARCH 28 MEETING A COMMITTEE like for Woodlawn Corridor/PD43 TO EXPLORE 58-CTU-ALLEY ETC. PLANS, and to explore ideas from audience. MORE MEETINGS ARE PLANNED ON THIS, TRAFFIC MGMT PLAN AND MORE. Visit March 28 page and website given there. Material is up, in Archive pictures of the stained glass and other features of the CTS are online at

More: University and Community homepage, University Project Updates, University News Releases, Hot Topics-University, Hot Topics-Development
Continue with South Campus Plan. Woodlawn Ave. Corridor.
Chicago Theological Seminary preserv. controv. and repurposing.
And see page on historic agreement MOU between city and UC on new projects, streamlining of projects and jobs.

The former "Master Plan" file now houses materials, maps, discussions, amendments to the University's central complex, INSTITUTIONAL PLANNED DEVELOPMENT 43, with links to view the documents themselves.
Note, discussion on the PD43 is divided between that page and the Woodlawn Corridor page.
Also of great importance and containing much information on plans is the page on the UC/city 2011 Memorandum of Understanding.

For news of what the University is doing further afield, visit Art News, Drs Hospital Hotel (former plan), "Drs Hospital" Early Learning Center of the Lab School, Harper Court home, Harper Theater, Development Details incl. in Wash. Pk, 53rd St., Development News, Woodlawn (neighborhood) News.


Meetings including on new planned developments

August 15, Thursday, 6 pm. UC Office of Civic Engagement holds a Neighborhood Conversation at Nichols Park Fieldhouse, 1355 E. 53rd St. The University of Chicago strives to enhance quality of life in its neighboring communities – whether through campus and community development, research partnerships, school enrichment programs, or local contracting and hiring. We also recognize that the hard work of our many neighbors to create strong and healthy neighborhoods strengthens the University’s role as an intellectual destination. As part of UChicago Engages, a new series of events and public discussions through the Office of Civic Engagement, we will be hosting regular Neighborhood Conversations in communities in which the University is actively engaged. These meetings will provide opportunities for community members to hear updates on University efforts in each neighborhood and for the University to hear from the community about the work we are doing and about ways we can strengthen our relationship with surrounding neighborhoods. Discussions at each meeting will focus on the neighborhood where the meeting is being held. Please join us for the beginning of this ongoing dialogue in Hyde Park. Sign up for enewsletter at that site.

August 21, Wednesday, 6 pm. Community Meeting on Pierce Tower replacement at 55th University-Greenwood. We would like to invite you to a community meeting to introduce the University of Chicago’s new North Campus Residence Hall and Dining Commons. The new development, designed by Studio Gang Architects, will occupy the space where Pierce Tower and Dining Commons now stands, at the corner of 55th Street and University Avenue. The meeting will consist of a presentation of the development, as well as time for questions and answers.
Chicago Booth School of Business, Rm. C25 (basement level), 5807 South Woodlawn Avenue.
As you may know, we initially unveiled the design of this development in a webcast on July 23rd. A description of the development and video of the design unveiling can be viewed on our website at We look forward to meeting with you in person to review specifics about the project.


****The University held a series of meetings on its proposed amendment of its Planned Development 43 (filed December 2011). This formal City of Chicago document that explains how the University uses its land and what uses are permitted. The community learned a lot, and the University at least some. Some bending was done toward protecting especially the sensitive transition zone along Woodlawn Avenue, but not enough to satisfy neighbors, who are asking the Alderman to seek further changes and will now seek a landmark district. See pages referenced above.

December, 2011. Hyde Park Day School and the Orthogenic School, apparently under request to better have or justify a relationship to the University, are moving to new quarters in Woodlawn. They will build a 72,000 sf facility on 13 parcels the city si selling on the 900 block of East 63rd street. The city will give back $500,000. Both the day school and the residential facility can now grow to serve more children-- and staff, which has to be almost at a 1:1 ratio. Total cost is $28 million. Indications are that the University will let the current facilities sit until another use is found -- to reuse or tear down. The new facility will join a growing campus of social services and institutions.

As revealed at a public meeting October 17, 2012, U of C will seek an amendment in Dec. 2012 to its PD43 for construction of an 1800 space garage (added to the current main 1400) at Cottage Grove and 57th. It will have an enormous loading dock underneath, tunnels to the new hospital across the street and hence through the whole medical and new science complex, and a pedestrian bridge to the new hospital. The first floor will be available for future medical uses. Spaces will be two feet wider than normal and spaces will be arranged for patient and visitor convenience. Principal entry and exit will be on Cottage Grove. It will be disguised and will have good lighting and landscape. Remaining houses in the vicinity (except 4 the UC doesn't own) will be torn down to provide staging, then green space until new structures are needed. they will consider having the structure open to the general public evenings and weekends. Ald. Hairston will introduce and support the legislation.

What the University said in 2011 was its governing design principals for campus and projects

Supersedes "Master Plans." Set forth publicly briefly in early but in detail at the November 9 2011 meeting on PD 43 and Woodlawn Corridor (see those pages) by University Architect Steve Wiesenthal. The following is based on a December 2011 Grey City interview with Wiesenthal, whose vision will certainly shape campus, with huge projects in progress, for a long time. By Sharan Sherry.

He said his job, which he took in 2007, is to meet "specific programmatic objectives that support the University mission-making sure we have the best spaces for scholarly research and teaching--but also that we do it in away the elevates the quality of the campus environment.... Everything should contribute to enhancing he greater whole... in a way that reinforces the great influence of the University. ...the overall setting and potential that this campus has, a potential that I think is not yet fully realized. [He discovered that the Midway was largely a tundra barrier, not a connective tissue, and tha the campus was layered over time but not well integrated.]

"... my ideal vision is that exact layering of history. It's important that we preserve and restore these incredible landmark buildings on campus. but I think we should also look at other buildings that have some historical significance and think about ways we can reuse them. When conceptualizing new buildings, we think about how they relate to to the old ones and how location, program, scale, and other variable impact the approach to each project. we want to take the conversation and discourse about campus architecture beyond style and more about the performative aspects of architecture. Does a building enhance its context while meeting its specific objective? I would say that Mansueto Library, despite being strikingly modern in its for, is quite contextual in how it sits on campus: deflecting to the main quads and pointing to the Henry More sculpture, creating a really transparent street presence along Ellis Avenue."

Making Ellis a larger part of campus activity and dividers into connectives. "It's still very much in progress. Ellis Avenue, experientially, still feels like somewhat of a dividing line. we're trying to look at all these dividing lines and turn them into connective tissue. So future projects on Ellis aim to address what we've inherited, which is that the main quadrangles by design and intention turn their backs to the street, making it difficult to find an entrance. They were intentionally created that way, to have an inner-focused, cloistered quadrangle that would keep out distractions from the outside world.

We now want to let in some of those distractions. We want to be open an permeable--not just for the campus community itself but for visitors that come as well. A good example is the next building you'll see across from Mansueto, the William Eckhardt Research Center: It will be almost completely transparent, with visible entrances at street level and a cafe. It'' be another big step forward in changing the experience of Ellis into a main street.

We're still in the very early planning stages, but we're also thinking about ideas for the intersection of 58th and Ellis, affectionately known now as the "surgery and brain quad." For many this intersection is the front entrance to campus, but you would never know it. You arrive there and kind of scratch your head. That intersection should be a true meeting ground for more engaged activity, with the research building, as well as the bookstore, right there. If Ellis Avenue is the primary north-south street, 58th is the primary east-west road, so we're looking to build off what we've done in the main quads and give it a more pedestrian feel, to extend that ambiance outside the quads.

Midway crossings. Certainly the Midway project, and its lights--or the "sabers," as I hear students cross them- were meant to enhance that feeling of entry. One of the biggest challenges for the University is that connection between north and south of the Midway, so the project addresses the experience of physically walking across the Midway, with the bright lights and sense of being welcomed onto campus.

Logan Arts Center is another project that is meant to establish a critical mass south of the Midway as the first south-of-the-Midway University activity center. People won't just be coming from the south. There will be two-way traffic that stitches together both sides. ...when you're standing in the north you can't see what's on the south side. so I think the distance is stretched in you minds' eye when you can't see your destination.,The glass tower of the Logan Arts Center is intended to help compress and connect that space in your perception."

Do you try to make the major projects share common bonds or aim for each building to be self-sufficient?

The first is that the University of Chicago is about the exchange of ideas, so every project should enhance and reinforce that exchange. That applies both to the spaces within the buildings, or in the general design of the building, as well as with how it fits within its context and refers to what's around it. All of that should engender discussion and interpretation. And certainly there should be a sense of being welcomed.

The second principle is about fostering stewardshp. There's a lot of time between the conception and occupancy of these buildings.... you want to meet the building's original goals, but you also want to think about how a building can last for a 100 years. You have to give it that flexibility to meet known and unknown needs.

The third relates to our environmental sustainability goals. We're requiring that all building be, at minimum LEED certified. it's more than just a checklist for us; it's about ensuring the health of people within the buildings, as well as its impact on the earth's resources. The Logan Arts Center is us getting our toe in the water of renewable energy [with its rooftop gardens].

The fourth principle that forms our vision is the one most open to debate and interpretation, which is to enhance the identity and character of the U of C campus. How you apply that is very dependent on the project and its location, but we try our best to apply it to every idea."

Relating to communities with least connection or with tension with the University, when most of the building faces them.

"Our approach is based on the belief that we have shared goals with these neighborhoods. Certainly we have conflicting goals, as well, but coming together and talking is absolutely essential. We began about two years ago to convene an evening discussion with a group of community members, urban planners, architects and preservationists to talk about what is important to campus as well as the broader community, and how can we align our goals better than how we've done in the past. We also have town halls and the aldermen to organize discussions.

I do want to correct an impression that your question exposes, which is that the University is running out of land. We are actually in a much different place than a lot of our peers, especially when you think of Harvard having to build across the river, or Columbia going north. if we were to build widely and densely, especially in the south and west, we see the ability to continue to grow for the next several decades.

"]It's] mostly south of the Midway, where there are small-scale, free-standing buildings. West of Ellis Avenue we're working with the medical center to look at long-term growth potential of land over by Cottage Grove and Maryland Avenue. Along Woodlawn there's also that unique, rather residential transition area... we reiterated our desire to maintain that residential transition area. Hyde Park and Woodlawn are really important areas for us to improve, so we certainly have shared goals that are helpful to talk about."

Where do you see University development going from here? [Ed.- see companion Grey City analysis of University's Memorandum with the city, PD 43 and need for the University to seriously take into account wider interests- in Hyde Park Profiles (currently last item).]

"If we build wisely on land we own, we can continue to support our specific strategic initiatives: To move forward from the more inner-focused exclusionary design of the original campus, to make it a public realm, and to fully link the north and south sides of the Midway. I refer to the current layout of the Midway as a 'march of mid-century modern masterpieces' that have very little to do with each other and turn their back to the Woodlawn neighborhood. e need to have a stronger interface with that neighborhood."




THE NOT SO LONG AGO PAST - University outlines short and long-range plans, rethinking, strategy for land use, expansion and other initiatives at Town Hall Meeting November 30, 2004

The Boston firm of Goody Clancy, specialists in campus and urban buildings, was chosen to design the University's new south campus residence and dining facility, opened in (prelim. $104 million, had to be cut back because of overruns).
Update: in 2009, the University continued construction of the Mansueto Library expansion and new hospital complexes along 57th Street.
Also, University Architect Steve Wiesenthal laid out his vision in early 2009. He said the economic downturn has not reduced planning. He called for integrating the "inward-facing" quads to the larger surroundings: the Midway and South Ellis must become welcoming locales- like main streets, plazas and gateways. One idea is a free-standing cafe across Ellis from the Ad Building. Another is vacating traffic on the Main Quad and 58th east to Woodlawn. His main worry regarding the Olympics is a possible hike in construction costs.
The following is drawn from HPKCC Board Member Patricia Morse's notes of the Town Hall Meeting with Provost Richard Sallers, November 30, 2004. James Withrow, Board member and Transit chair who also attended, also contributed. (This material was not online in the University site as of December 2.) This is followed by a summary from the University of Chicago Chronicle.
Highlights include a unified vs piecemeal approach, handling transportation/parking problems strategically and in conjunction with whole-community needs, search for a unified approach to providing green space in conjunction with Chicago Park District, new construction as opposed to renovations, more funding in hand before starts, eventual movement along Cottage Grove north of 55th as well as infill of "Southwest Hyde Park."
"Elements of the 1999 master plan are nearing completion--Ratner center, parking garage, GSB, Palevsky dorms, Press building, and Interdivisional Research Center on 5th Street. So, [the University] hired consultants Ayers Saint Gross to do a survey of campus needs.
Parts of the Plan
  • Avoid piecemeal construction as a result of decentralized units
  • Maximize land use for research and teaching
  • Maximize the surrounding parks as portals to the university and green space (since there won't be any in the new construction)
  • Pedestrian friendly (character)
  • Growth in professional schools, 10% increases in BSD faculty, no more undergrad growth
  • Costs of making older part of campus "new" - $600 million, so building (new) instead. "Spend less on maintenance than Princeton because endowment is 1/3 size of Princeton". New buildings = $600 million to $700 million
  • BSD/UCH west campus (will have) dense construction "like peer institutions"
    • Finance with combination of sources, some debt
    • Parking garages some with fees (*see below)
    • BSD/UCH with grants, charges, donors
    • Some of the buildings won't move forward until 85% in donations
    • Too much of the 1999 plan was built before finance, debt went from 300 million to 900 million ($3.5 billion endowment, so not overstretched)
    "No need to acquire land to complete the plans for the next 15 years"
  • Just purchased State Farm Building at 52nd and Cottage Grove,UC sees expansion moving north along Cottage Grove because it's cheaper and displaces fewer people
  • Eyeing Doctor's Hospital (believes it soon will be out of court)
  • Currently renting some office space from Chicago Theological Seminary; off campus rentals are individual unit decisions
  • They'll keep all the scattered dorms in the neighborhood --goal is most undergrads living in dorms.
Construction starts up to 2008 (numbers key to map)
South Campus (See South Campus Plan page.)
  1. U of C Hospitals staff parking at 61st and Drexel, groundbreaking summer 2005 an open in 2006. Already approved. 1,000 parking spaces. security might move offices here from Young).
  2. Undergraduate dorm and dining to replace the Shoreland at 60th to 61st on Ellis
  3. South Winter Garden on Midway between Woodlawn and Ellis.
  4. Parking garage at 61st and woodlawn with light retail on the ground floor (500 spaces)--Provost imagines a convenience store or dry cleaner, in consultation with residents and students and faculty.
  5. Renovation of Illinois Bell Building at 6035 S. Kenwood for office space.
  6. Law School Tower renovation, BP station on Cottage Grove renovated or, other renovations, "symbolic bridges" on cross streets of the Midway,? Lab Schools take over Judd Hall ? and renovate it.
West Campus
  1. (7) Biological Sciences research center
  2. (8- but should be further south) Physical Sciences renovations including Searle
  3. (9) addition to Regenstein for up to 3 million more books
  4. (10) UCH Pediatric Emergency
  5. (11) IRB Chiller Plant by Cummings
Construction for 2008-2020 (letters ref. to map)
South Campus
  1. (A) Center for Creative and Performing Arts surrounding Midway Studios
  2. (B) GSB dorm and "portal" (tear down Mott Bldg.)
  3. (C) School of Social Services Administration expansion
  4. (D) Law School expansion
  5. (E) Harris School expansion
  6. (F-not shown on map) Children's Garden Midway at Stony Island
  7. (G-not shown on map) Hotel an conference center at Stony Island and 60th
West Campus
  1. (H) 10 story UCH surgery and bed tower at 57th and Drexel
  2. (I) raise stagg Field half a story for 600 space parking garage
  3. (J) tear down Young Building and build arts center expansion of Smart/Cochrane/Court Theatre complex
  4. (K) undergrad dorm and dining in field near Pierce Hall
  5. Other possible: West Campus chiller plant, (8) Astronomy/astrophysics and computer science center, BSD office building
Transportation/Parking Issues
The Provost heads a Transportation (nee Parking) Committee that is evaluating options to fix this mess--far too few spaces, if nothing other than more parking spaces off narrow streets is provided (and parking spilling into neighbors' space), yet UC has more spaces than peer institutions; cost of a garage is c$22,000 a space and debt service is $2,000 a year in perpetuity while only $360 a year can practically be charged of patrons, and garages are free after 4 and on weekends. The University is expected to work toward more routes in the neighborhood to downtown, hire a transportation czar, and:)
  • Create incentives for less driving (3,000 HP/K residents drive to campus)
  • Make bicycle commuting easier
  • Better circulation of traffic, especially down Ellis
  • More mass transit, better links to downtown
  • Use incentives to avoid pushing parking into the neighborhood
Next steps
  • Finalize report soon
  • Financial analysis
  • Presentations to interested parties
  • Fundraising
  • Modifications to the Planned Development Agreement with with the city
  • Trustee approval of architect and design of individual projects"
Note: University spokespersons said they would not build beyond their present bounds in the northwest campus, but they just bought 5 buildings from Antheus Properties "for future hospital expansion." The tenants had to vacate. The buildings all have easement protection against alteration or demolition without permission from Landmarks Illinois, which was explained to the University before purchase.
(See South Campus Plan for views of that sector. An overall schematic is shown below, based on the University's campus map. Provided by Patricia Morse.) To better map. Another better of West Campus.
Campus map with proposed new buildings
From the University of Chicago Chronicle summary, January 6, 2005: Saller addresses campus parking crunch, suggests solutions
By Josh Schonwald
New parking lots, incentives for people who car-pool and bike to work, and the hiring of a "parking czar" were among the strategies discussed by Richard Saller, Provost of the University, at a November, 2004 town hal meeting in the Biological Sciences Learning Center.
As part of a broad conversation about the University's 2004 Master Plan Extension, Saller fielded numerous questions from a standing-room-only crowd about how to increase the availability of parking in Hyde Park.
Based on the findings of a University task force on parking, which Donald Reaves, Vice President for Administration and Chief Financial Officer, headed up last summer, Saller said the most pressing need is to expand parking for the staff and patients of the University Hospitals.
A new parking lot is being planned for construction at the intersection of 61st Street and Drexel Avenue. The University also is planning to add additional parking spaces in a mixed-use retail/parking development at the intersection of 61st Street and Woodlawn Avenue.
Anticipating growth in staff employment, the University must think creatively about new locations for parking structures, Saller said. For instance, one novel idea, proposed by a University-hired architectural consultant but not yet approved by the University Board of Trustees, was to build a parking structure below Stagg Field. The field would be raised a half story to accommodate an underground parking structure.
While parking problems exist across the campus, Saller said the first new parking facility to be built on campus would address the needs of the hospital and biomedical research staff which is expected to have the greatest growth.
However, the expansion of parking facilities is costly. Each parking space costs $25,000 to create, and maintenance together with debt service costs $2,000 each year. Moreover, the addition of parking spaces, Saller said, will not solely cure the campus parking crunch.
Another key part of the parking strategy will be to encourage staff, students and faculty to consider other transportation options. The Parking Task Force, commissioned last summer, found more than 3,000 people. who park on or around campus are residents of the communities that surround Hyde Park and Kenwood. "Many people who live one mile from campus ar driving to work," said Saller, who admitted he, too has driven to campus.
The University [has added] a "parking czar" position--a person who will not only focus on parking logistics, but also wil think broadly about transportation alternatives. To further help alleviate parking problems, Saller expects the University begin to offer incentives for employees who car-pool, walk or bike to work.
The University also will explore the possibility of offering other transportation services, such as a shuttle bus to Union Station to encourage employees to use public transportation.

Hospital expansion to send McDonald House north of 55th Street

The UC Hospital has for several years run the Berman and Hannah Friend Center north of 55th Street. It houses the Human Resources department, the Academy, and clinics and serves as a conference center. So, movement of Ronald McDonald House permanent replacement from th 5700 block of Drexel to a site next door to the Friend Center would hardly by illogical or the first and only exception to the "not north of 55th" "rule." (It would be an awfully long way to walk, with no direct route because of Stagg Field.) In addition, the University has just bought the State Farm building at 52nd and Cottage, stating that its most likely expansion in the distant future is north along Cottage Grove. Immediate impact is minimal, although it could affect property values and halt further non-university development. Another issue is gradual elimination of affordable housing west and north of campus, pushing many students to put more pressure especially on housing 55th to 51st. Ground was broken in July 2006. The Victorian mansion-like structure will have 22 bedrooms, 15 for 5 or more.
Much more significant is the immanent completion of institutionalization of all land south of 55th except 5600 block west of Drexel. The handwriting is on the wall for this with demolition of the block east of Drexel and plans announced in the piece above. There has been a half century of battles over university takeover of "Southwest Hyde Park"- see Urban Renewal and Timelines. In recent years, property owners to be displaced for the Center for Advanced Medicine (5700 block of Maryland, west side) sued and won ruling that the university must make a joint offer for each block.
Hyde Park Herald, December 1, 2004. By Mike Stevens
University of Chicago Hospitals officials confirmed Monday that a new pediatric emergency room will likely push the Ronald McDonald House, 5736 S. Drexel Blvd., north of 55th Street, considered the unofficial northern border of the hospital campus.
"The site that is more or less agreed on will be near the Friend Center (55th Street and Cottage Grove Avenue)," U. of C. Hospitals spokesman John Easton said. Easton could not say exactly where the new Ronald McDonald House would be built but the demolition of a three-flat apartment building at 5442 S. Drexel Avenue a few weeks ago appears to leave ample space for a new expanded Ronald McDonald House.
Some Hyde Park residents worry that ongoing expansion from both U. of C. Hospitals and the university is encroaching on territory traditionally deemed residential. Hyde Park preservationist Jack Spicer claims 55th Street marks the border. "There is a sort of understanding where the campus stops," Spicer said. "Is this an exception to the rule we all understand or is there a new rule[?]"
The Ronald McDonald House, which hosts out-of-town families of hospitalized children, is essentially a residence, Easton said, so it shouldn't have the sort of issues that concert area homeowners. Any expansion north of 55th Street of clinical facilities would be "a leap" because almost all of U. of C. Hospitals facilities are currently connected by tunnels and skyways. "I don't know of any plans to expand north of 55th street," said Easton. "For now this is the exception, not the rule."
The U. of C. Hospitals asked the Ronald McDonald House to relinquish their lease on the current four-story, 13,600 foot building. The lease ran for an additional 22 years. Although a final agreement has yet to be reached, the non-profit will likely move temporarily to 845 E. 57th St. while finalizing plans for a new building, Ronald McDonald House Manager Mary Agnes Murphy said.
Work crews have begun a $2 million rehab to prepare the temporary digs which had served as university student apartments. Their current 18-year-old building is slated for demolition to make room for a four-story, $40 million expansion of the Comer Children's Hospital, which itself will not open until late January. Construction on the 140,000-square-foot building to house the emergency room wil begin in Mach 2004 an wrap up in August 2006.
Meanwhile, on a lot north of the Ronald McDonald House, crews fenced in a row of apartment buildings slated for demolition. The demolitions will make room for another University of Chicago Hospital expansion--a 10-story inpatient surgical facility. Set to begin construction in 2008, the $300 million project will provide an additional 100 beds by completion in 2010.

Notes on the Master Plan Update- 5th Ward Sections, given at I-House, January 13, 2005 with map

See plan of the new dorm on Ellis in South Campus Plan. Visit also and the University's Community Affairs page.
Ayers Saint Gross 2005
Cut off from Key: 1. Parking structure under Stagg Field. 2. Smart Museum/Court Theatre expansion.
3. North Campus Residence Hall and Dining Facility. 4. West Campus chiller plant. 5. Biological Sciences Division new research building. See west campus detail below, south campus detail in South Campus Plans page.
University of Chicago Master Plan 200t Update
Alderman Leslie A. Hairston, 5th, made opening remarks. Hank Webber, UC Vice President for Community and Government Affairs, set the background. The plan was released in September and approved by the trustees in November, 2004.
This is an update to the 1999 Master Plan and covers projects to 2020, subject to revisions from time to time. No revisions will be sought to the Planned Development document. All of these projects--those of $20 million and more are noted here--will be on university currently-owned land, mostly now surface parking. Some major teardowns are anticipated, such as the High Energy Physics, Astrophysics for a new Physics building and Young Building also on 56th for Smart Museum expansion.
Neighborhood needs are attended to, especially the edges of the university, as well as university needs. Webber noted the many projects finished or currently under construction.
Provost Richard Sallers gave the main description. He noted that the 2.2 million square feet addition costing $600-800 million is not out of line with the university's historic timeline of growth nor that of similar institutions. He did note that the UC is light on facilities vs. investment in people and vs. other premier institutions. Goals include to stop piecemeal and unit-by-unit growth, to make better use of land (will be more dense), and to marshall infrastructure such as traffic, parking and transit, including parking at the edges. Served will be needs for lab and library facilities and for students (dorms.) No increase in faculty or students is expected.
Objectives include better flow, better edges and presentation, Midway becomes an esplanade rather than boundary. A transportation and parking coordinator will be hired. Incentives for non driving will be added--currently it's parking that is subsided.
In questions, Sallers stressed that no institutional projects are planned north of 55th; strategic property purchases maybe on the Cottage edge, but no more even residential-scale projects such as Ronald McDonald House. Sallers agreed to take into consideration preservation and reuse concerns for both mid 20th century and older structures such as the Young Building.
There was objection that the University does not treat non UC renters the same in displacement or provide enough help. The number to be displaced (on Drexel) is about two dozen. Note, the north half of the east-side of Drexel in the 5600 will not be disturbed.
Overall, the plan involves little lateral expansion and mainly infill with some increase in density. The plan takes special care with effects of increased density and people/auto traffic.
Take of the Hyde Park Historical Society Preservation Committee:
On Thursday, January 13, Richard Saller, Provost of the University of Chicago, and Leslie Hairston, 5th Ward Alderman, held a community meeting at the International House to update and explain the 2004 Campus Master Plan. Another over-flow crowd of near 100 attended. To the relief of preservationists in the room, the UofC said that it did not plan to demolish nor build north of 55th Street (with the exception of the new Ronald McDonald House at 5440 Drexel), it did not plan any further demolitions in the 57th St/56th St/Cottage Grove/Drexel Av section (other than to build the new Bio Science Division Research Building at the NE corner of 57th and Drexel) and it would consider pursuing Chicago Landmark status for additional campus buildings. The Young Building at 5555 S Ellis (1909, Frost and Granger, originally a part of the larger "Home for Incurables" complex) is slated for demolition and the site redeveloped as expansion space for the Smart Gallery. Adaptive reuse of the building was considered but rejected. For further information contact Sonya Malunda, Office of Community Affairs, UofC, 773-702-4568.

From Herald coverage, January 19, 2005

By Jeremy Adragna
The University of Chicago announced Jan. 13 intentions to renovate its campus north of the Midway Plaisance by adding research facilities, expanding the Regenstein Library and building a new pediatric emergency room before 2008.
by 2020, the university looks to add 2.3 million square feet of space in various construction projects totaling $800 million, what officials say is on-par with expansion projects at other universities.
The university will not, however, expand its student body or faculty ... University Provost Richard Saller said U. of C. has built an average of two million square feet of new buildings every 10 years for the past four decades. "Research every year requires more space," Saller said. "The accumulation of knowledge means we'll have more books to put in the library."
So the university plans a $3.5 million expansion of the west side of Regenstein at 1100 E. 57th St. Saller also pointed out a need to expand laboratory space, hospital rooms, surgery theaters and amenities for students. "We're talking about more living space and also more amenities for the students and the community like a new creative arts facility."
Long term plans indicate the university will move it's in-house police department out of its current home at 5555 S. Ellis Ave. in order to expand the adjacent Court Theater and Smart Museum. The university earlier announced plans to build-up entertainment venues north of 55th street with the installation of the Checkerboard Lounge at 5201 S. Harper Ave. which began early this month. But officials stressed the expansion of research and medical institutions outlined in its newest plans will not move north of 55th Street, its unofficial border with the Hyde Park neighborhood.
"We don't have plan to expand out into the neighborhood north of 55th [Street]," Saller said. "But there are some buildings along Cottage Grove [Avenue], if they became available, that the university would be interested in acquiring," Saller was referring to a multi-story storage building north of 55th Street along Cottage Grove Avenue.
The announcement came from Provost Saller, Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) and University Vice President of Community Affairs Hank Webber last Thursday. Webber, in September, announced similar plans for land owned by the university south of the Midway Plaisance, a general expansion of what U. of C. officials call its Campus Master Plan, released in 1999 and now nearing completion. The original plan included several recently completed construction projects like the Graduate School of Business, the Ratner Athletic Center and the Midway Skating Rink.
The meeting last week was decidedly less contentious than the September meeting. Those on hand, like community preservationist Jack Spicer lauded the university's efforts to preserve historical buildings like the recently landmarked Rockefeller Chapel. But Spicer urged further restraint from the university when considering bulldozing campus structures like the University Police building which was constructed in the 1890s.
"I would like to commend them for agreeing not to tear down any more buildings in that quadrant [between Stagg Field and the U. of C. Hospitals] and not to build north of 55th Street," Spicer said. "I think that is quite commendable."
Officials on hand pledged to take further community input through its Master Plan web site, study transportation and parking problems, and help displaced renters, in buildings set for demolition, to find new apartments.

From Chicago Maroon coverage, Jan. 18, 2004.

Aldermen, administrators address community issues. By Carl Pickerill, community correspondent
Administrators Richard Saller and Henry Webber presented publicly the University's construction plans in Chicago's fifth ward last Thursday night at the International House, fielding questions from concerned Hyde Park residents about architectural preservation, possible tenant evictions, and increased property taxes.
There was little University community tension in comparison to prior events on University expansion, which had been notable for the frustrations voiced by residents of Woodlawn, who see University expansion as an infringement on their neighborhood. Fifth Ward Alderman Leslie Hairston did her best to put to rest the issue of University construction in Woodlawn at the meeting, emphasizing before the presentation that "if anyone is here to talk about Woodlawn, tonight is not the night. That is the 20th ward, and we're here to talk about the fifth ward."
University construction in Chicago's fifth ward follows the same premise as in other wards, said Webber, who is vice president for community affairs. "This is 100-percent-owned University property," he said, addressing the "considerable progress" that the University has made in transforming "the empty parking lots on 55th street[" and] the vacant Woodward Court into an entertainment venue, and the new business school complex, respectively.
Saller, University Provost, began by talking about the University's commitment to personnel. "The University has a tradition of investing in people," Saller said. "We have less endowment than Harvard and Yale.... but our frugality is not at the expense of investing in people." He added that he thinks people are the most important asset for a first-class research institution and, "to serve those people better, we need to pay attention to facilities."
The "$20 million or more" that will be invested in [each of] "about two dozen projects" will go toward an interdivisional research building, a $3.5 million Regenstein library expansion, a creative arts facility, hospital renovations, and other projects, Saller said.
Although these projects, including the 2004 purchase of the State Farm Insurance building on 52nd Street and Cottage Grove [Avenue], are all located north of the Midway and Alderman Hairston stated specifically that Woodlawn would not be a topic of discussion, Saller said that "if anything on Cottage Grove became available, the University might acquire improve the Cottage Grove facade." [Note: this editor, who attended the meeting, understood the context of that remark was properties "north of 55th Street" and west of the main campus and cannot be construed as meaning Parc Grove in Woodlawn, as implied by the author in skipped paragraph that followed. This was confirmed in a letter of reply to the Maroon by Saller and Webber.]
A small minority of tenants on Drexel Avenue who came to the meeting raised their voices amidst fears of eviction. Paul Parkins, a resident in the 5600 block of Drexel Avenue who rents his apartment from the University, asked if there would be any demolition or eviction of tenants from his block as a result of University expansion. [answer: east side not north of the south half delineated, west side none.] Hyde Park resident Judy Lin chimed in, saying that "maybe she had missed something," as a "large house had been torn down and made into a now empty lot" on [the west side of] Drexel without her having known why.
Saller said, "A new research building will be built at the corner of Drexel," but that no additional demolition would occur on that street. "The last three buildings on Drexel will remain standing," Saller said. Webber added that there are "no plans to construct on the west side of Drexel." Both administrators stressed that information about possible demolitions and evictions can be found on the University website about the Master Plan.
Hyde Park resident Laurie Burgess berated the University for doing "a rotten job of finding places for those people" who have been evicted in the past due to demolition. "I heard personally from people evicted from their homes on Drexel that tenants not affiliated with the University, were not offered help in relocating," Burgess said. "The University can commit itself more to aiding in that process."
Webber responded, saying that "having to move is an important thing...We will take that suggestion and implement it."
Student-tenant organizer Matt Ginsberg-Jaeckle, tried, but was unable to swing the discussion back to Woodlawn. Making a reference to the recent increase in property taxes and rents affecting the wellbeing of Woodlawn residents, he challenged the University to use some of its "$2.2 billion dollar composite budget to help fund research on the effects of new construction on property taxes and rents in the surrounding neighborhoods."
Saller replied that there is "no reason to think that what we do here affects those values," and that a connection does not exist. "The area under construction is contained by geographical barriers that will not affect the other areas," Hairston said. "Washington Park is to the west, the Midway to the south, 55th Street to the north, and Woodlawn Avenue to the east" will ensure that the area is contained, she said.
Other proposed projects that administrators talked about include an expansion of the Smart Museum, an underground parking lot under Stagg field, and a new operation and patient-care tower for the University Hospital.

West Campus plans spelled out (graphic with key follows) (See in next article "West Campus Goals" and Center for Biomedical Discovery.)

With the opening of the Interdivisional Research Building and start of the Pediatrics Emergency Room in mid 2005, the West Campus component of the University's updated Master Plan enters phase II (structures to be started or finished by 2008). Phase III is components projected by 2020. The University avers that all new and renovated construction will take place within its established, long-held campus-contiguous properties and that there are no plans for campus facilities north of 55th Street (with the exception of Ronald McDonald House), future purchases outside the area to be prudent investment and conservation intended only, and leaving intact 5600 block from Cottage to Drexel, including the north half of the east side.
The larger short-term new structures will be (first) the pediatric ER, Integrative Science chiller plant, (second) a 300,000-square-foot biological and clinical research building on the east side of Drexel north of 57th- 10 stories and costing $160 m- groundbreaking fall 2005) , and (third?) the Regenstein Library addition. Two major renovations will be of Searle Chemistry and Research Institutes, probably soon after 2008. New buildings most likely to follow soon after the early phase are the operating room et al tower above and alongside the Peds ER, a parking structure under Stagg Field, and the high-tech replacements for High Energy Physics and Astrophysics buildings. Note that preservationists are asking that these last two and the former Home for Incurables at 56th and Ellis be preserved or recognized. Smart Museum and Court Theatre wish to begin their addition at 56th and Ellis as soon as possible.
Pedestrian and vehicular circulation reorganization, parking provision and enhancement of Ellis Avenue as the campus spine will also be undertaken. Stagg Field will have 600-800 parking spaces beneath it while gaining artificial turf and new lighting.
Blair Archambeau, Associate Provost for Planning, says the University will work closely with civic and community leaders and organizations at each step.
U of C West Campus Plan. U of C Chronicle

UC, Hospitals roll out plans for 10 story, $163 Center for Biomedical Discovery at 57th and Drexel at July 28 meeting. Cancer will be the focus, also to house Dept. of Medicine labs. In February 2006, Jules and Gwen Knapp gave $25 m to fund this Center (and name the whole complex for the Knapps), and the Searle Fund gave its first $5 million to coordinate the research and dissemination of it with that at other biomed. research/teaching hospitals. (More on latest gifts)

3-D of the complex less the Center for BioMedical Discovery (to upper right): Left front is Center for Advanced Medicine, Right front are (l-r) Comer Children's Hospital, Comer II (ER and Clinical-specialized), Rear is New Hospital Pavilion.
Recent and planned Hospital builddings north of 58th St.
Concept elevation of New Hopsital Pavilion at 57lth St.
Levels: sub- mechanical and support, 1 lobby, 2 lobby mezzanine, 3-4 parking, 5 mechanical and surgical support, 6 special procedures, 7 surgical suites, 8 Academy and related, 9 sky lobby, 10-11 impatient beds, mechanical/cooling towers above.
The University of Chicago Board of Trustees approved construction of the Center for Biomedical Discovery, northeast corner of 57th and Drexel, the first building in the new, post 1999 phase of the Master Plan. A public meeting was subsequently called. Sonya Malunda, VP Community and Governmental Affairs, outline the West Campus Goals and goals on Minority and Women participation goals. West Campus goals are:
  • Stop piecemeal planning and segment isolation
  • Improve patient care dramatically
  • Improve the university experience and product
  • Respect nearby civic resources (museums and parks)
  • Space for growth: Biological and Physical Science Divisions and the Hospitals
  • Athletics dramatic improvements
  • A comprehensive approach to parking and infrastructure
Facts: $162.5. 330,760-sq. ft. (vs over 430,000 of CIS)
Will house c 82 principal investigators, 45 teams, 700 research personnel specializing in pediatric, genetic and cancer research-- brings existing together with new Institute for Molecular and Pediatric Science--largest group anywhere focusing on molecular basis of childhood disease. It will use chemistry, biology, and physics with clinical study to look at fundamental puzzles--how genetics affects the patterns and playout of childhood diseases, what makes blood cells leak, why and how does cancer metastasize.
Malunda said, "We're now moving into a new phase. The first wave of development includes the west campus, a place where faculty and staff can have a much better place to do their research." Assistant BSD Dean Bill Huffman said the planning was underway for two years. "What we are trying to do is get into a single building where research labs are in a research building and out of the hospital patient care environment." Indeed, this is phase two in the University's effort to lead in pediatrics and to become a major study in the study of metastasis, which is more than a medical question.
The Center for Biomedical Discovery will be located on the northeast corner of 57th and Drexel, and will extend half the block northward. It will be joined by bridges to Integral Science (a 3-story bridge) to the south and Biological Sciences Learning Center to the east. The auditorium and conference center will be located at this node. Entrances will be at the building's southwest corner and at the center of the Drexel face. There will be continuous indoor connection all the way through the Science Quad and Hospitals. It's designed to pull people together.
Relocating in this "replacement facility" (and it's much more than that) will be the Cancer clinical and research labs and Cancer Research Center-making cancer the chief focus. Joined with them in the same building will be the Department of Medicine's and Pediatrics Department's clinical and research labs. Getting all the biomedical researchers in close proximity is "the way science and medicine is done these days," according to UC VP for Community and Government Affairs Hank Webber.
One side of the 10-story building will be the offices, the other the actual labs. Square footage is 300,000, height of last-occupied-floor is under 200 feet, the limit under the University's Planned Development, changes to which are not being sought. This building will stick and stand out and offer great views on upper floors of the Loop, Lake, and Washington Park.
The building is on a fast speed-to-market with high quality track. To keep and recruit the best faculty and programs this is a necessity. Demolition (requested to be as soon as possible by neighbors) starts early August, construction in the fall, with completion set for late 2007.
The building will have a grass and green roof, but not "leeds" certification. Sustainability is a high goal. The base will be of limestone and the rest of several styles of light green glass wall breaking up the facade as well as giving plentiful vistas to users. There will be landscaping and a 200 year old maple with its interesting garden will be saved. No parking will be built-and in the short term c 18 parking spaces will be lost, but the University will have a structure under Stagg field by 2010 or 12. Meanwhile, residents will be given permits for other UC lots.
This will not be an excavated building, although the north 2/3 will have a half-basement.
Staging will be in two cleared, fenced lots owned by the University on the west side of Drexel, trailers in the north one. Construction traffic will have to go east from Cottage on 57th, north on Drexel, turn around at the north end then backtrack--no construction traffic on 56th. Burlapped fencing, washdowns, the city-mandated work schedule, etc. will be adhered to. Demo is to start August 8 and the new building opened in spring 2008.
Architect is Zimmer-Guasul Frasca Partnerships of Los Angeles with local partner UBM. Turner will be the general.
Not brought up but whispered about were the loss of historic houses and apartments with beautiful decoration, and the 1888 Deronda Apartments.

Knapp, Searle gifts putting the capstone on, filling gaps in new research and its coordination and dissemination. February 2006. Chicago Maroon
Two multimillion dollar grants to both the Chicago Biomedical Consortium (CBC) and the construction of the Jules and Gwen Knapp Center for Biomedical discovery at the U of C could transform the way biomedical research is conducted in Chicago. These contribution, partnered with the $42 million Comer conation in January, marked three major gifts to the University of Chicago Hospitals (UCH) in less than three weeks.
In a donation dubbed "Gift of the Week" by The Wall Street Journal, Jules and Gwen knapp gave $25 million to the University of Chicago to help fund a biomedical research enter that has been under construction since October.
The Jules and Gwen Knapp Center for Biomedical Discovery will serve as a research facility for physicians and scientists focusing on the intersection of biology and medicine. "It will fill the gap between the Center for Integrative Science, where researchers from the biological and physical sciences work together to study very basic questions, and the clinical researchers who practice medicine," said John Easton, UCH spokesperson.
One-third of the center will house the Institute of Molecular Pediatric Science, whose chairman of pediatrics, Steve Goldman, recently investigated the link between a "subtle abnormality" in cardiac muscle iron channels and sudden infant death syndrome, said Easton. Other research establishments located within the center will include the University of Chicago Cancer Research Center, the Ludwig Center for Metastasis Research, and the Institute for Genomics and Systems Biology.
Designed by the Zimmer Gunsuul Frasca Partnership of Los Angeles, the 10-story building will span 330,760 square feet at East 57th Street and South Drexel Avenue, and is expected to be completed by the spring of 2008. The new center, along with the Donnelley Biological Sciences Learning Center and the Jules F. Knapp Research Center- which houses the Gwen Knapp Center for Lupus and Immunology Research, the Knapp's fist multi-million dollar gift to the University-will form the Knapp Research Complex, according to a University press release.
"We, and most importantly the Knapps, recognize that a state of the art biomedical facility is integral to the quality of the biomedical product as is the state-of-the-art technology," [Larry] Hill said. [UCH President Riordan expressed his gratitude.]
In the second donation to biomedical science last week, The Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust (CCT) donated $5 million last week to the CBC, a collaboration of Northwestern University, the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago. The donation would fund biomedical research in the field of systems biology, encompassing proeomics, genomics, and informatics, which could ultimately be applied to curing types of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and phytoregenerative diseases.
The grant is part of a plan to donate $25 million over the course of five years, which could then increase to $50 million if found worthy of a five-year extension, said CCT President and CEO Terry Mazany. The three universities currently communicate through weekly telephone conferences held by a small group of CBC scientists.
"CBC stimulates collaboration and interaction within different institutions and within different disciplines. The funding will help bring people together," said Jonathan Silverstein, director of the UCH Center for Clinical Information, adding that collaboration is becoming increasingly important in large-scale scientific inquiry.
The new funding could usher in a new stage of development for the CBC. "Any funding which will overcome the inertia in between disciplines, and in this case, in between institutions is beneficial to research," said Larry Hill, assistant dean for planning in the Biological Sciences Division at the U of C.
The scope of the funding would extend beyond the three Consortium institutions, with the development of open-access software and other research tools to become available to other universities and biomedical research institutions in the Chicagoland area. According to Rick Morimoto, professor of biochemistry at Northwestern University, anyone worldwide would have access to the utilities vial the CBC website portal. Morimoto said that the driving force for the CBC revolves around "changing the landscape of how biomedical research is done in [the] Chicago area."
By encouraging collaboration, CBC will accelerate a trend towards a more integrative and interdisciplinary scientific approach, according to Steve Kron, associated professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology at the University of Chicago. "By stimulating these collaborations, the CBC will help change how we think as scientists and how we train our students," Kron said. "Hopefully, it will also break down artificial barriers that sometimes keep us from working together."
These two multi-million dollar donations, accompanied by the $42 million donation to the Comer Center for Children and Specialty Care, have dead to speculation that the gifts reflect a growing philanthropy movement at the University.
"This has been a remarkable month--the Comer donation followed in quick succession by the CBC grant ant he Knapp gift," Easton said. "We like to imagine that is is a trend, a leading economic indicator. "
Ronald Schiller, vice president for development and alumni relations, said that both of the donations reflect a continued trend in "principal gifts," which the University encourages by showing donors its appreciation, letting donors in on the planning process, and emphasizing the donors' impact to the University community.
"The University has built up many wonderful resources," Schiller said, citing the process in which the University develops a long relationship with donors who have come to respect the work of the University.

Hospitals moving toward a new hospital-clinical pavilion (To views)

In late 2005, the Hospitals continued planning for and consideration of a new clinical pavilion to span the south side of 57th Street from Drexel to Cottage Grove. Vinoly Architects and Cannon Design are working on the $500m project, which could be open as early as 2011. The pavilion would increase by at least a third the University's space and resources to treat the complex referral cases that underwrite much of the general care and basic operations of the Hospitals and building upon the basic strength and advantage of the hospitals. New surgery and imaging and intensive care suites would be among the 600,000 square feet of flexibly arranged facilities. It would provide a modest increase in beds. New specialized faculty would be recruited. Clinical procedures are already increasing at a five per cent annual rate.
In June 2006 the concepts were rolled out to the public.
  • The University of Chicago Hospitals is engaged in the design of a New Hospital Pavilion (NHP)
  • Current plans for the building
    • Add 35% to clinical capacity of the Hospitals, focused on adult cancer, GI and advanced surgical programs
    • Replace the main operating rooms built in 1997
    • Add a net of 113 adult beds ad allow conversion of all double rooms in Mitchell Hospital into singles
    • Expand high-tech imaging
    • Include 1,000 parking spaces
  • On July 18th, UCH is scheduled to present to the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board for the design permit required to proceed with detailed planning
  • We will return to the Planning Board later for permission to build
NHP in Context of Vision 2110 Strategic Plan
  • The NHP is the facility centerpiece of t he Hospitals' Vision 2010 strategy, which is based on four imperatives:
    1. Invest in human and physical capital at a nationally competitive level
    2. Strengthen our "Forefront" brand to pre-eminent and sustainable position
    3. Sustain and finance our commitment to service to the community
    4. Secure a path tot he resources required
  • Central to this strategy is the role of UCH in complementing, but not substituting for, community-based physicians, clinics and hospitals
  • This requires connecting patients better to the full range of health care assets in our community, with UCH focusing on cases best suited for a University academic medical center
The Need for the New Hospital Pavilion
  • Main operating rooms are approximately thirty years old
    - Under-equipped and too small for many advanced surgical procedures, such as robotic surgery and high-tech intra-operative imaging
  • Many adult beds are in double rooms
    - Difficult to operate, especially when medical require private rooms
    - Impacts patient satisfaction and patient privacy
  • Patients in our community and region have difficulty accessing our specialized care
    - Requests for patient transfers to UCH from other hospitals have increased 66% over 5 years
    - In April, we had 184 requests for adult med/surg transfers from other hospitals, but were only able to accept 117 (or 64%)
    -ICU capacity is at a maximum, making it increasingly difficult to operate efficiently
Plans are also being developed to utilize the American School building for various Hospitals facilities. Top
University demolishes historic-rated home
Hyde Park Herald, September 14, 2005. by Tedd Carrison
In coming weeks, a 112-year-old limestone home on Hyde Park's west side will come down to make room for the University of Chicago's Center for Biomedical Discovery. Once a comely residence with stout granite columns capped by crisp Corinthian capitals, 5623 S Drexel Ave. has been gutted of nearly everything but the fireplace and sunlight shines unabated through a hole in the attic ceiling. To some, the pending demolition is a harbinger of progress, to others an act of pillage. But to the Chicago Department of Planning and Development, the building is part of a historic survey that reaches far beyond centenarian homes.
In 1983, under the direction of the planning department, the Chicago Historic Resources Survey (CHRS) began cataloguing all buildings constructed before 1940. The project lasted 12 years, and detailed each building's date of construction, architect, landmark status and more. The planning department used this information to color-code each of the properties using red, orange, green, yellow and blue in descending order of historical importance.
Red-rated properties are "potentially significant" in a city, state or nation-wide context. Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House is red-rated. Orange could be significant community-wide. Yellow and green are too altered or historically insignificant to be included in the CHRS database. Blue represents the remaining pre-1940 construction and therefore, too, was excluded from the database.
The Drexel Avenue building along with many others in Hyde Park is designated "orange" by the CHRS. Due to an ordinance passed in January 2003, demolition permits for red and orange-rated buildings are provided a 90-day waiting period to "ensure that no important historic resource can be demolished without consideration as to whether it should be preserved," said Brian Goeken, deputy commissioner for landmarks at the Chicago department of planning.
In the Drexel building's case the university applied for waiver for the 90-day rule, claiming it had exhausted all options to save the building and a stringent construction schedule allowed little time to wait. Goeken said the length of time a developer must wait to demolish under the 90-day ordinance varies with the discretion of the planning department.
"The goal of the orange process, as I know it, is to explore whether there are alternatives [to demolition]... and in this case there aren't," said Hank Webber, vice president of Community and Governmental Affairs at the U. of C. Webber said the university considered many options including temporarily moving the structure across the street but in the end "there seemed to be no feasible way to save this building," he said.
Local preservationist Jack Spicer agreed that the building is beyond salvaging and believed that the university's preservation efforts were sincere, but said if its orange distinction was noted early enough and everyone involved worked together it might have been "taken off death row."
Other notable orange-rated buildings in Hyde Park and Kenwood include the abandoned Doctors Hospital, 58000 S. Stony Island Ave.; the former Shiloh Church, 4820 S. Dorchester Ave.; and the vacant Harper Theater 5234-38 S. Harper Ave...

Gary Comer's $42 million gift, other gifts flesh out BioMed campus plans (More) Views

The progression marches on. Center for Advanced Medicine (1995), Comer Children's Hospital (2005), start on the Comer Children's Emergency Room and facilities above it (under construction), Garage and Clinical office building on Drexel between 60th and 61st, and being planned: Center for Biomedical Discovery north of 57th, a Specialized Clinical and Surgical Hospital along the south side of 57th from Drexel to Cottage Grove (with a new garage likely north of 57th along Cottage Grove), a new West Campus Chiller Plant, renovation of the American School, and now funding to build out the space above the Comer Children's ER with a Center for Children and Specialty Care.
The new Center will, inter alia, add 2025 beds to Comer's 155, and concentrate ambulatory as well as inpatient specialty procedure and care in the new facility. The ER, set to open September 2006, will be considerately larger than the current one. Total cost (less $8 m for recruitment, set up etc.) is $100 m.
From the Chicago Maroon, January 26, 2006. By Aaron Brown
In the largest single donation ever made to the University, the founders of Lands' End, francis and Gary Comer, have given $42 million for the creation of the Comer Center for Children and Specialty Care. [The Comers' gifts to the Hospital total over $84 million.] [The gift was announced] in the lobby of the Comer Children's Hospital. surrounded by such dignitaries as Chicago's First Lady Maggie Daley and Illinois State Senator Kwame Raoul, [Dean] Madara hailed the scope of the gift, calling it a tremendous benefit for "the truly needy on the South Side of Chicago, the nation, and the world."
[Location on Drexel, east of the Comer Children's Hospital. 122,500 square-feet--a 50 increase in Children's Hospital space. $100 m cost.] ...part of an extensive effort to advance pediatric medicine at the University, including last year's Comer Children's Hospital and the Institute of Molecular Pediatric Sciences, set to open in 2008.
On its first floor, the building will house the Comer Pediatric Emergency Department, to be ready later this year. The remaining three floors will gradually follow, providing expanded areas for specialty ambulatory care, operating rooms, and inpatient services.
Focusing on pediatrics, the new facility will concentrate on providing seriously ill children with access tot he most sophisticated medical procedures and technology. It wil do so while recreating the warm, comfortable environment that has elicited patient and family praise for the current children's hospital.
The goal is to bring "world-class specialty care to children on the South Side of Chicago," said Michael Riordan, Hospitals president and CEO.
In addition to funding a large portion of the construction expenditures, the Comer gift includes $8 million to recruit doctors and scientists to work at the center. Leaders in the field of pediatric medicine will be sought, according to hospital officials.
This level of advanced care also offers the ideal setting for training new doctors in the latest treatment methods. The center will create "future leaders who will carry knowledge across the globe," said Stephen Goldstein, chairman of Pediatrics. These experts will give the hospital the truly "international impact" that it desires.
...As Gary Comer entered the hospital lobby, a sudden hush took hold, triggered by the sight of the 77-year-old philanthropist. After the initial announcement and a number of introductions, he mounted the podium to a standing ovation. [Comer said the Comer Children's Hospital "became the best pediatric hospital in a year. " With the new additions, "Chicago can become the world center for pediatrics."
However, such an achievement requires more help. He appealed to others to continue the work..."It's up to everyone else now to keep this going." [Mayor Daley had issued a proclamation, read by Maggie, declaring the day "Gary and Francis Comer Official Day in Chicago."
The most emotional moment came during a speech by 16-year-old Sally Bain, who suffers from Crohn's disease and recently received treatment at the Comer Children's Hospital. She thanked the Comers for their generosity with a poem she had written about her month-long stay, focusing on how the hospital environment allowed her to feel comfortable despite her condition. ..
The Comer announcement came as the University continues its "mega donations" campaign, seeing and increase in gifts $5 million or more. [VP Ronald Schiller said the] University is in multiple conversations with donors who are considering principal gifts. I expect there will be more wonderful news to share before long.

Meanwhile, the new lung transplant team received an accelerated approval from the United Network for Organ Sharing.
The team, itself transplanted from Loyola, adds to the Hospitals current program in heart, kidney, pancreas, liver, islet cell, and multi-organ transplants.
Ground was broke in July 2006 for the new Ronald McDonald House for families of pediatric patients, on the west side of Drexel north of 55th Street. Plans are very contextual-Victorian home-like, with wrap-around porch and turrets. It will be double the size of the old, with 22 bedrooms, 15 sleeping up to 5. 30,000 square feet. It is the only new building planned for north of 55th and will be next to the Friend Center and Clinic.

University announces $42 million (or more) Regenstein Library expansion, program (Mansueto)

Despite -or complementing- its deep involvement in computer science/intelligent machines studies and technical application, digital archiving, mammoth website server, and computer training for school children, the University is as committed to written resources as ever, in contrast to some other institutions almost stopping book purchases and putting all their eggs into "digital resources". Having deferred in 1999 a major initiative involving expansion until it completed a huge compact-storage and phase I of Regenstein Library renovation, the University has now rolled out a comprehensive plan for library resources costing $42 million and including a new west wing for the Library. Room will be provided for an additional 3.5 million volumes for a total of over 11 million, giving the University's Hyde Park campus one of the country's biggest collection of materials under one roof.
The west wing will cost nearly $36 m of the $43. While the wing is being prepared, reorganization of the whole library and its programs will be decided and planned. Regenstein will be increased by 40,000 square feet. A key component is new and better book preservation and tracking facilities and technologies including automatic shelving. There will also be more reading and consulting space. Much to most--and almost all of the monograph collection will remain open to browsing. Selected architect is modernist/postmodernist Helmut Jahn.
The original structure, designed by Walter Netsch, started in 1965 after a gift by Helen Regenstein in honor of her husband Joseph, and opened in 1970, was designed with an addition in mind. Yet, keeping full open browsing would have required a $70 million plus building according to Provost Richard Sallers as quoted in the University of Chicago Chronicle. The compromise is made possible by high-density automated shelving and rapid- retrieval. This needs only 1/7th the space. And by moving most journals to the addition, the monograph sections can be left close to as-is.
A stellar faculty committee is considering best ways to use the expanded space and maximize library usefulness and impact, from the perspective of how we think about knowledge in the early 21st century. Surveys have already been sent out. These (answered in full by a huge 5,700 students) reveal that the University community is as much into physical books as ever (except for journals), the need to virtually double volume capacity is justified, and those who use the internet heavily for research are the same people who use books heavily.
The Library holds a conference November 17, "Space and Knowledge" with international experts. Five architectural firms are competing for design rights.
Facts: current space 600,00 sf on 12 acres, new 38,000 sf.
Current volumes 4.5 million- the addition will make space for 3.5 million more in high density shelving yet close and accessible.
Architect selection is down to 5
Construction start August 2007; opening estimated July 2009.
Will be the largest academic library (in terms of ____).
In early spring 2007 final soil borings were taken so that Helmut Jahn's firm, the capital projects committee, and the Trustees can finalize choices spring 2007 among design possibilities. Construction is to start spring 2008 for completion spring 2010. Every effort is promised to minimize dust and noise interference, especially in finals weeks.

Creative and Performing Arts Center (CCPA) concept development continues with establishment of design competition (Logan)

Herald, October 11, 2006. By Daniel J. Yovich
The University of Chicago is planning to build a $100 million arts complex and has impaneled a handful of the world's most renowned architects to compete for the contract to design the facility. The 180,000-square-foot complex is slated to be built near the intersection of 61st Street and Ingleside Avenue, and will include three black-box theaters, music practice rooms, a recording studio and a 350-seat performance hall. [ed- more below.] Danielle Allen, dean of the university's division of the humanities, said the complex will incorporate but leave untouched the university's Midway Studios. The studios are housed in the former mansion landmarked by the city in 1993. The studios are the former home and workspace of Lorado Taft, one of the early 20th Century's most famous artists.
"This project will create a new synergy for the arts at the university," Allen said, noting that the university's many art courses, studios, and performance and rehearsal spaces are currently sited in several different buildings throughout the campus.
The university has raised about $1 million for the project, said Tom Wick, the senior director of development. And the university's target of $14 million must be met before an architect will be hired. Those vying to design the complex are Daniel Libeskind, the planner for reconstruction of New York City's World Trade Center, New York architects Ted Williams and Bilie Tsien, and three former Pritzker Architecture Prize winners: Hans Hollien of Austria, Fumihiko Maki of Japan and Thom Mayne of Santa Monica, Calif.
The architects will submit their proposals for the project by the end of November, Wick said. A panel of faculty and students will jury them in early 2007 before a winner is selected.
Fund-raising for the project will continue through 2006. Though Wick declined to say how much of the estimated $100,000 must be raised before ground is broken, the university has previously sought 80 percent of the required funding for major construction projects before it begins building.
ed. Additional facilities according to the October 10 2006 U of C Maroon, include a climate-controlled film storage vault, as well as renovation/reuse of non-protected parts of Midway Studios. Previously announced are art fabrication studios and manufactories.
And the layout is planned to create new collaborations and cross-influences. Bill Michael, vp for student life, is cited in the Maroon as drawing parallels to the Gordon Center fo Integrative Science: "Having the music practice rooms and things intertwined in these spaces provides a real opportunity for people to interact with each other. This building is going to be... a space where our students can come together, whether they're making films or doing a capella or if they just want to experience the art." Allen added, "If you look at what's happening in the world of contemporary art right now, you'll see a remarkable fusion of media land genre, and that's happening on our campus too. We have people who blend different kinds of art-visual with digital, art with science." Michael also thought the CCPA will "energize the south side of campus" and engage communities while not replacing existing art and music facilities.

Re: architects, they were chosen from a pool of 60, similarly to the GSB competition. Allen was quoted in the Maroon, "We want this building to symbolize the creativity at the highest level, so we thought the activities of the building would themselves well represented by top-flight architects. We thought the best way of engaging them in the most energetic forms of creativity would be a competition." This is also expected to jump-start the fundraising general and specific campaign--donors care who the architect is. Currently, many potential donors are being contacted or given attention.
CCCP grew out of a provost report on arts facilities in 2001.
More: see in Arts News page.

Rockefeller Chapel Restoration

opened: a state-of-the-art true interfaith center for campus religious groups in 2006. In July, the 1928 organ went to Shantz Organ Company of Orrville, Ohio (yes, where they make Smuckers) for refurbishment. A gift in honor of President Randel will refurbish the organ and carillon. The organ, which will now be the largest in Chicago at 8,600 pipes ranging from 2 inches to 32 feet, will be a balanced romantic organ reflecting but improving upon the original (especially in brightness) and presenting the sound of a full orchestra. Many previous changes have to be undone, including a 1970s attempt to replace English Romantic with Baroque-style pipes. It will have to be tested out and voiced pipe by pipe, range by range, so it won't be ready until the end of 2007. Total cost is $2.2 million ($1.6 million as a birthday tribute to Don Randel). In 2001, it was the 12th largest in the country.
Other Rockefeller upgrades include restoration of the large, stained-glass windows--which will start in November 2007 and take three years. Electrical and plumbing work is also slated. We have not heard work on the very needy Laura Spelman Rockefeller Carillon. Plaster models for the Chapel's sculptures are being conserved and are on display in the interfaith center on a rotating basis.
September5, 2007 update on Rockefeller restoration: Herald by Georgia Geis
church that was the dream of University of Chicago's baptist founder John Rockefeller is entering the most important phase of a complete facelift--from its roof to its basement. Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, 5850 S. Woodlawn Ave., is undergoing an estimated $25 million restoration, which will take more than 3 years to complete.
The painstaking restoration also includes the chapel's premier musical instruments, the E.M. Skinner Organ and the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Carillon. From the bells' removal and repair to the massive scaffolding wrapped around the exterior, the building is in the midst of the most dramatic aspects of its repair.
"We want to be good stewards of this building," said Lorraine Brochu, assistant to the dean for external affairs at Rockefeller. Brochu said work was being done in virtually every nook of the chapel. Contractors trained in historic restoration began work last month on the roof and masonry structure. Brochu said this work, which necessitates the use of scaffolding, is being done in conjunction with the restoration of the church's enormous stain glass windows, as well as complete restoration and repair of the organ and carillon.
"Considering the scale of the building, co0ordinating the scaffolding is a giant logistical thing," said artisan and chapel contractor Kevin Grabowsk. Grabowsk, who works for the 117-year-old Conrad Schmitt studio, located in New Berlin, Wisconsin, is overseeing the removal, restoration and return of all the chapel's windows. Grabowsk said the window project will take four to six artists working exclusively for three years on the project. Before any of the ornate windows are removed, photographic documentation records every crack and change in coloration. "Documentation is insane for this project. Every detail is recorded," said Grabowsk.
Conrad Schmitt Studio, which has done restoration work for Notre Dame and Union Square, first did work for the Rockefeller Chapel restoring an early scale plaster model of the church. The model shows great detail and includes rooms that never ended up being built.
Brochu said Don Randel, the former president of the University of Chicago, was instrumental in the restoration of the Chapel. During his tenure at the university, Randel planned for work to begin. "[M]any of the buildings of that age on campus need work," said Randel from his office in New York City where he now heads the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. "The need was clear when I got to Chicago."
Randel said as a musician he had a great appreciation for the organ. This appreciation translated into more than $2.5 million being donated to the chapel. To mark his 65th birthday in 2005, trustees, deans and officers of the university gave generously to the restoration effort. "I was deeply moved to find out [that] without my knowledge.. people were giving gifts for my 65th birthday toward restoration of the organ," said Randel. "It's a great thing the organ and carillon will be put back to their wonderful splendor."
By 2001, the organ was unusable due to uneven maintenance efforts, including removal of some of the original pipes during the 1970s. A temporary electric organ was brought in for services. The organ has been completely restored by the Ohio-based Schantz Organ company. The organ will be returned to the building after restoration of the organ's location in the chapel is complete. "The organ had fallen in[to] terrible disrepair. Its restoration is a great asset to the Chicago community and the organ community nationally," Randel said.
The money raised for Randel's birthday is also helping fund the restoration of the second largest carillon in the world. The carillon consists of 72 bells made of copper and bronze and weighing more than 100 tons. The bells will be removed Sept. 25 and taken to Koninklijk (Royal) Eijsbouts Bell foundry in the Netherlands. Josep van Brussel of the bell foundry said it will take a year to refurbish the bells. The mechanical action, as well as many steel parts of the bell frame that are severely corroded, need to be replaced," said van Brussel. Van Brussel said the Rockefeller carillon is the largest in the world that still has all its original bells. "The company that cast the bells for this instrument, Gillet & Johnston, doesn't exist anymore, but we have access to data like the original tuning figures, which enables us to renovate the instrument the best possible way, van Brussel said.
Another aspect of the massive repair project is a complete renovation of the lights. Brochu said with a laugh that now churchgoers should be able to see their programs. "We have to consider the needs of the modern community while keeping the historical integrity of the building," said Brochu.
The great effort taken to restore the landmark to its grandeur will ensure its longevity, according to Grabowsk. "The Rockefeller Chapel is in good condition, considering its age. The project will make the building very tight so it can be around another 75 years," said Grabowsk.

The Main Quad getting new look

Already having gone considerable landscape overview and some more lighting (some say not enough in view of muggings) and designated a Botanic Garden, the main quads are getting new sandstone paver walks in late 2005 and 2006. The purpose is to restore--including replacement of some of the concretized paths with the sandstone they one had. (The stones are much smaller than current--maybe they will stay in place better and break up less under university vehicles.) At the end, all the interior paths will be stone and all the exterior paths and that around the circle concrete.
Roof replacement continues; construction of chill water tunnels to Cobb and Haskell continue.
The Capital Planning Committee ( associate vps for facilities and for planning and the budget director) decides and oversees such projects, including the massive tuck pointing underway on several buildings.
The flower scheme has been changed on the main quad, especially the Kramer beds. Richard Bumsted, University Planner for Facilities Services, told the Chronicle: ...we shifted gears thin year...we opted out of the continued planting of annuals every year so that these beds, along with the circle garden, can look lush for the Reunion/Convocation weekends. Work there and at redesigned Rockefeller Chapel beds, was done by Craig Bergman Landscape Deign of Wilmette.
Bergman said the theme has been using perennials that will have something in the beds all year. 90 percent are now perennial. Brilliant colors come from hybrid cone flowers, geraniums, salvias and climbing clematis-- now on temporary bamboo pole tripods but to have iron towers later. "The idea is that we want to have a structure that will be visually interesting all year-round," he told the Chronicle.
The design at Rockefeller is more formal. 20-foot beds now mirror patterns in the window stained glass."This spring the ornamental artichokes bloomed, surrounded by the annual lantana. The perennial in that pattern are Artemisia."
The south winter garden on the Midway is being designed by Bergman with Ernest Wong of Site Design Group.
Details: Top