Harper Quad to undergo renovation

Susan Allen
News Officer for Arts and HumanitiesUniversity Communications

The Harper Quadrangle will undergo renovation this summer as part of an ongoing effort to make campus more pedestrian-friendly.

The renovation aims to enhance Harper Quad and make it a place for people to enjoy. The upgrades include more green space, landscaping enhancements, the addition of new benches, and the installation of limestone pavers in place of the existing roadway. The work will begin Tuesday, June 14, and is expected to be complete when new students arrive for Orientation in the fall.

“By improving landscaping and pedestrian access, we hope to add to the sense of community possible in the historic Harper Quadrangle,” said Steve Wiesenthal, Associate Vice President for Facilities Services and University Architect. “The renovation will make Harper Quad an inviting space for members of the campus community to come together for study, relaxation and conversation.” 

The Harper Quad will be closed during the construction process, and building entrances that face the quad will be inaccessible. Stuart Hall will be accessible from its east entrance, and Haskell Hall from its west entrance. Harper Memorial Library will be accessible from the south entrance. A temporary pedestrian path will lead from the Main Quadrangle to Bond Chapel.

When the renovation is complete, the current roadway and sidewalks will be replaced with a new walkway, combining limestone pavers and pervious concrete. These materials were selected because of their bike- and pedestrian-friendly qualities, as well as their environmental benefits, according to Alicia Murasaki, Executive Director of Planning and Design. Water and snow can drain through pervious concrete, reducing the need for salt in the winter, and lessening the load on the city’s sewer system. The limestone pavers are durable and damaged areas can be easily replaced, unlike asphalt or concrete.

In addition, the grassy area in the center of the quad will be expanded to include additional trees, plantings and benches, creating new spaces for students and visitors to enjoy the quadrangles.

For more information about the Harper Quad landscape renovation, please visit http://facilities.uchicago.edu/construction/ or contact Facilities Services at (773) 612-6373.