Continuously Constructing Contours of the Campus and Community

During the summer months there have been many changes throughout Penn's campus and beyond-ceremonial groundbreakings for a new academic building and for the former G.E. building-the completion of the new Perelman Quad as well as the latest phase of the restoration/renovation of the old Quadrangle's College Houses. Penn has also entered into an agreement with the School District of Philadelphia to develop an elementary school, for which an attendance zone has been determined, (see page 7), in University City. Meanwhile, other major projects have made noticeable progess-Huntsman Hall has taken shape at 38th Street, while Sundance Cinema,, the new grocery store, and garage are rising at 40th Street.


This official state historical marker for the ENIAC site was unveiled at a June 15 ceremony commemorating the invention of the world's first all-purpose electronic digital computer which was invented and built here in 1946 by J. Presper Eckert and John W. Mauchly. The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission will maintain the marker which will be located at the corner of 33rd and Walnut Streets outside the Moore Building--ENIAC's birthplace and where Penn's remaining pieces are displayed in the ENIAC Museum. 

Looking west on Chancellor Street, Levine Hall closes the courtyard.


Levine Hall for Computer and Information Science

The groundbreaking for the Melvin J. and Claire Levine Hall for Computer and Information Science took place on June 15. Designed by Kieran Timberlake Associates, the 40,000 square-foot building will create a new home for a department which also expects its faculty to grow by 40 percent over the next several years. Melvin J. Levine, W '46, president and director of Atlantic Plastic Container Company, and his wife, Claire, made this building possible with a $5 million gift--the largest ever to the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Levine Hall will provide space for new departmental offices, conference rooms, a 150-seat auditorium, and 12 state-of-the-art research laboratories, as well as a Cyber Lounge for students and faculty. By linking the Graduate Research Wing of the Moore School and the Towne Building, the new six-story building will double the space for CIS.

Lockheed Martin recently gave SEAS a $116,000 grant to be used to build an advanced computer laboratory as well as to provide scholarships for minority students in computer science. The lab, which will house research in virtual environments, human simulation and modeling, as well as natural language programming, will be part of the new Levine Hall.

With Bennett Hall to its left and Towne to its right, Levine Hall will double the space for computer and information science at Penn.

 The Left Bank: the Gateway to Penn

The seven-story Art Deco building at 32nd and Walnut Streets (right) is being transformed-from the old General Electric Building--to The Left Bank, luxury loft apartments. Dranoff Properties is developing and managing the property which is expected to be completed in May 2001. The building was built in 1929 and served as the Pennsylvania Railroad Freight Building and was used as a milk and grocery distribution terminal for the railroad and Abbotts Dairies. After the railroad merged with New York Central it moved from the building in 1958. GE then leased the building for its missile and spacecraft division from the 1960s to the early 90s. The University bought the property in 1996. The conversion of the steel-reinforced concrete building is expected to cost $58 million. It will have 282 studio, one- two- and three-bedroom apartments with original architectural features such as dramatic 12-foot ceilings, wood moldings and huge distinctive windows. A courtyard is being created in the middle of the 700,000 square-foot building. At the June 13 groundbreaking ceremony, President Rodin spoke about how expanding the range of quality housing choices is part of the University's broader efforts to enhance the quality of life in the community.

The Division of Facilities Services, Mail Services, the Office of Environmental Health and Radiation Safety as well as the Penn Children's Center will occupy space on the ground level of the building after it is renovated to provide a functional work environment.

Quadrangle College Houses Renewal Project

During the summer of 1999, Penn began a four-year renovation program for the Quadrangle College Houses. The first year's construction was primarily focused on the preparation of the utility systems to support the future renovation of the living areas. The backbone for future mechanical, electrical, storm water and sanitary systems has been established within the eastern half of the facility. During the summer months in 1999 a complete restoration of the masonry/limestone along Woodland Walk, Memorial Tower and Provosts' Tower and interim landscape occurred.

In the Spring of 2000 Memorial Tower entrance paving at 37th Street and Spruce Streets was completeed and dedicated on Alumni Day by The Class of 1975. This new entrance provides a sample of the pavement systems to be installed within the Quadrangle interior courtyards during the Summers of 2001 and 2002.

Summer 2000 began the internal building renovations which will support the future three college house system to be implemented in the Fall 2002. The internal renovations begin on the eastern third of the facility which encompass the two 'baby quads' near Provosts' Tower Entrance and has been temporarily named College House B. Summer 2001 renovations will encompass the middle third of the facility identified as College House C, including Memorial Tower and McClelland Hall. Summer 2002 will complete the internal renovations with the western third of the facility identified as College House A.

These College House renovations include:

  • Dual temperature piping supplying new heating/cooling room fan coils
  • Fully renovated common bathroom facilities
  • New student room vanity sinks
  • College House Nucleus containing, faculty offices, meeting and mail rooms, renewed common spaces for libraries, seminar, computer and student lounge areas.
  • Upgrade of life safety systems includes emergency lighting, exit signage, fire alarm modernization and sprinkler system upgrade within student occupied areas. This includes changing to quick response sprinkler head technology in recognition of the increased awareness within the national academic community for life safety.
  • Painted wall and ceiling surfaces will be renewed. Trim will be repainted in colors for the identity of the new College House communities chosen by faculty/student committees.

In addition to the College House B renovations described above for the summer of 2000, the following additional work will be accomplished:

  • Basement mechanical infrastructure extension within the middle third of the facility
  • ·Storm and sanitary replacement at Woodland Walk and Upper Quad Courtyard
  • Masonry/Roofing restoration and cleaning to the internal facades of the Lower and Baby Quad courtyards

No final landscape improvements are scheduled summer 2000, except for restoration of damaged grassed areas due to the summers' work.

Agreement and Attendance Zones for PreK-8 School

On July 24, 2000, the following resolution was agreed upon concerning the Penn-assisted prek-8 school to be built on Penn property, at the site of the former Divinity School, between Locust and Spruce Streets, from 42nd to 43rd Streets (see yellow block on map below). The school is scheduled to open in phases, with the kindergarten and first grades beginning in fall of 2001, occupying renovated space. Older children will be phased in during the subsequent years to create a coherent culture in the school.

WHEREAS the School District of Philadelphia entered into an agreement with the University of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers to develop a new prekindergarten-8th grade school in the University City area--a school that will focus on innovative and research-based instructional models, sustained professional development for staff, flexibility in staff selection and retention, and a collaborative governance structure;

WHEREAS the Board of Education recognized the interest that a variety of stakeholders would have in how the attendance boundaries for the school would be drawn, and has therefore entertained the views and recommendations of those stakeholders in multiple settings, including testimony at regular board meetings, public meetings devoted to discussion of the attendance zone, meetings with representatives of community organizations, and telephone, written and electronic correspondence;

WHEREAS the Board of Education's objectives in designing an attendance zone are:

  • a racially and economically diverse student body for the new school
  • an attendance zone that is an appropriate size for a 700-student capacity
  • avoid destabilization of racial diversity of the Powel School student body
  • provide enrollment relief to the Lea and Wilson Schools;

WHEREAS the Board of Education has carefully studied and assessed the proposed approaches, options and recommendations for design of attendance zone and has carefully considered the views and interests of the stakeholders;

THEREFORE, the boundaries for the attendance zone for the pre-kindergarten-8 school shall be as depicted on the attached map, and, effective July 1, 2001, the attendance zones of neighboring schools shall be adjusted to accommodate the boundaries for the new school.




Almanac, Vol. 47, No. 2, September 5, 2000