Philadelphia, PA – September 15, 2000 – The University of Pennsylvania formally kicks off its week long dedication of Perelman Quadrangle following a five-year, multimillion restoration of the campus historic center.
The project, one of the largest in Penn history, is named for Penn alumnus and Trustee Ronald O. Perelman, who contributed $20 million of the $87.5 million cost. Wynn Commons, the open-air courtyard that traverses the length of the Quadrangle, is named for alumnus and Trustee Stephen A. Wynn, who donated $7.5 million.
The celebrations will honor Penn students for whom Perelman Quadrangle was created. The Quadrangle joins several of the University most historic and familiar buildings: Houston Hall, College Hall, Logan Hall, and Irvine Auditorium. Williams Hall, site of the Silfen Student Study Center after Penn alumnus and Trustee David M. Silfen, also forms part of the complex.
The project was designed by Philadelphia architects Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates to draw people to the traditional center of Penn West Philadelphia campus and, in doing so, to create a greater sense of unity. In furtherance of this scheme, Wynn Commons features an open-air amphitheater and extensive seating areas where students can congregate.
In its design, Perelman Quadrangle expands the original functions of Houston Hall across Wynn Commons into parts of the surrounding buildings. In the process, each building is preserved, adapted and re-invested with historic importance. The adaptive reuse of these buildings on campus provides a unique blend of campus history and new technology at the center of the campus.
In addition to the leadership gifts from Perelman, Wynn, and Silfen, the University received broad support for Perelman Quadrangle from individual donors and reunion classes who contributed to the naming of many of the University beloved and well-known spaces.
University of Pennsylvania President. Judith Rodin said “We have created a true campus center that embodies Penn goals for the 21st century — a seamless integration of studentsacademic pursuits, their extracurricular activities, and their day-to-day lives.
“Through active, ongoing, student programming efforts, the Perelman Quad will enter the campus vernacular and become a significant part of Penn student life and campus tradition.”
The ceremonies give special recognition to Penn students. A four-day festival, “No Place Like Penn at Perelman Quad,” has been planned by students and will feature outdoor events and performances, including a rock concert.
“Penn students have been integral in the design and development of our Perelman Quadrangle grand opening events,” said Rodin. “Their vision and dedication to this celebration is commendable and helps mark one of Penn major highlights for the new millennium.”
Other events will include a faculty tea; a graduate and professional student gala; an open house and tour for Penn staff; and a Provost lecture by famed stock market guru and Wharton Professor Jeremy Siegel.