University Promenade Fully Opens
The University Promenade is fully opened, starting today, and will serve as a place of gathering, community and vitality.
Stretching from the Newhouse School complex to the Schine Student Center and Bird Library, the project has created a pedestrian-friendly promenade from what was once a busy street with heavy vehicle traffic. The walkway features activated plazas, improved landscaping, increased ADA accessibility and a greater sense of physical connectedness for all members of the campus community.
“The University Promenade has transformed what was a barrier between one part of campus to another into a place of community and enjoyment, becoming another focal point for campus,” says Pete Sala, vice president and chief facilities campus. “The Promenade has areas for people to meet, to study between classes and to just relax and appreciate the beauty of our campus.”
As part of the Campus Framework, the Promenade was developed to support the goals of the Academic Strategic Plan to enhance the student experience and build a sense of “One University.” The Campus Framework Advisory Group, composed of faculty, staff and students, partnered with design firm Sasaki Associates on a variety of plans to advance and strengthen the University’s spaces and facilities.
With the final touches on the Promenade put into place over the past several days, campus community members are pleased by the results.
“I love it. No cars here, just pedestrians,” says Ani Muradyan ’20. “I noticed we could also use bikes. It’s awesome.”
“It’s a much more pleasant area to walk through. Pedestrians can walk through and enjoy the area. I think it’s really nice,” says Steven Ajayi ’17.
Many on campus this summer have seen it taken shape. “We have watched in awe from the windows of Bird Library at the frenzy of activity all summer, from the massive infrastructure upgrades of pipes, conduits and drainage systems disappearing underground, to the beautiful finishing brick work and landscaping of recent days,” says Dean of Libraries David Seaman.
Seaman recognized the work that went into making such a unique space on campus. “The skill and commitment of the planners and construction crews have been impressive to witness, and we go into a new academic year with a safer, more functional and elegant connection along University Place to our neighbors in Schine and Newhouse, and across the Promenade to the Quad,” Seaman says.
An important aspect of the project was the elimination of a traffic area in a busy area of campus. “Going from a trafficked area with buses and cars to something the students can use, it’ll be nice,” says Kevin Heffernan, assistant professor of exercise science. “Just to see students walking through that in the next couple of weeks, I think that’ll be enjoyable.”
The project also included a heated pathway that now leads to the plaza with the Syracuse University gateway sign, just below the Wall of Remembrance, making it accessible to those with mobility issues.
University leaders hope the connection that brings together two areas that were once separated by a busy street will create a new type of synergy.
“The Promenade has grown the core of Main Campus, and I am excited to see how the use of the space will develop as the campus community begins to live in it,” says Joseph Alfieri, director of Campus Planning, Design and Construction.
“With it partially opened now, I can already see it as a unique space, with its own identity and feel, while simultaneously accentuating the front lawn as its own space,” Alfieri says. “I look forward to seeing the plinths being used by classes and study groups, student organizations meeting, and alumni and fans gathering for Orange Central or athletic events.”