Almost a century after it was first proposed, the East Campus Gateway project on the University of Wisconsin- Madison campus nears completion. Committed to beautifying and preserving this iconic area of campus, the university in 2008 partnered with the Wisconsin Alumni Association (WAA) and many generous donors to reenergize efforts and enthusiasm for the project.
Completed thus far is University Square, the Chazen Museum of Art expansion, the Art Department’s Art Lofts and the Pedestrian Mall. Remaining are the School of Music Performance Center, a campus home for Tandem Press, and some additions to the Lakeshore Gateway project, which include the Memorial Union renovation project and surrounding lakefront area.
Long considered the heart of campus, the area along the shore of Lake Mendota near Memorial Union is undergoing a major facelift. One of the most picturesque and idyllic campus spots in the nation is being transformed from an unattractive surface parking lot into a dedicated and vibrant area where students and alumni can gather to enjoy and celebrate the Wisconsin Experience. “Who can resist a brat, draft beer and Babcock ice cream while enjoying festivities alongside scenic Lake Mendota?” said Mike Shannon, who along with his family is helping to ensure the Lakeshore Gateway project is completed. “The new renovations at the Memorial Union, Lakeshore and Alumni Park will create wonderful memories for future generations of UW students.”
The Lakefront Gateway includes a new promenade and green space called Alumni Park, in commemoration of WAA’s 150th anniversary. The park will create a walkway that connects the university’s most popular gathering places—the shore of Lake Mendota and Library Mall—to the corridor that runs between the Red Gym and the Memorial Union, from Lake Mendota to Langdon Street.
This area has long served as the backdrop for students and alumni to relive college memories, and celebrate realized dreams and achieved goals that began at UW-Madison.