College Hall, the oldest building on Penn's Campus, was built in 1871, 133 years after Penn's founding. Since then, Penn has expanded its campus to 299 acres in what is known today as University City.
The Daily Pennsylvanian recently reported that Penn will redevelop the McDonald's at 40th and Walnut streets into a 50,000-square-foot office and retail building, again changing the landscape on the border of University City and West Philadelphia. The DP takes a look at some images of key architectures around Penn's campus in the Penn Archives Digital Image Collection, and what they look like today.
ARCH, as captured above in 1930, was first built in 1927. The building was originally owned by the Christian Association until it was sold to Penn in 1999. ARCH was the home for the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships as well as the cultural resource centers on campus. In the summer of 2022 ARCH was rededicated to focus on creating inclusive campus spaces. Today, the building houses three of the cultural resource centers: La Casa Latina, Makuu: The Black Cultural Center, and the Pan-Asian American Community House. (Photo from Penn Archives | Photo by Ana Glassman)
Fisher Fine Arts Library, as captured in 1899, was first built in 1890. The building was the primary library of Penn from 1891 to 1962. Today it stands as a National Historic Landmark and houses materials to support the research of art in all mediums. It is located on the east side of College Green, at Locust Walk and 34th streets. (Photo from Penn Archives | Photo by Ana Glassman)
On May 17, 1993, then First Lady Hillary Clinton visited Penn to receive her honorary degree. Twenty-five years later in 2018, former Penn President and current United States Ambassador to Germany Amy Gutmann also sat on "Ben on the Bench" before Commencement took place. (Photo from Penn Archives | Photo by Varun Sudunagunta)
First opened in 1895, Franklin Field's wooden bleacher design, as captured above in 1910, stayed roughly the same until it underwent a significant renovation in 1922, which resulted in today’s colosseum-like concrete structure. It was notably used as the home stadium for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1958 to 1970, the site of the 1936 Democratic National Convention, and a training ground during World War I. Franklin Field is now used for football, track and field, and lacrosse. (Photo from Penn Archives | Photo by George Botros)
The Annenberg School of Communication, as captured above in 1965, was first built in 1962. The school was founded in 1958 by publisher, diplomat, and philanthropist Walter Annenberg. Today, the building continues to house the Communication School and is located between Penn Live Arts and the Annenberg Public Policy Center. (Photo from Penn Archives | Photo by Jesse Zhang)
Constructed in 1970, the Class of 1949 Bridge was dedicated to the Class of 1949 in 1974 for their 25th class reunion. Along the lines of the bridge are inscribed names of Penn women and Penn families that are a part of the University’s history. Photographed above in 1974, the bridge spanning across 38th Street remains a crucial walkway between student residences and the rest of the campus. (Photo from Penn Archives | Photo by Derek Wong)
Houston Hall, as captured above in 1900, was the first student union on an American college campus. The building, which was constructed in 1894, was based on the designs of previously existing student unions located at the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. Renovated in 1936 and 2000, Houston Hall hosts a multitude of student organization meetings and is a popular space for students to study, relax, and dine. (Photo from Penn Archives | Photo by Abhiram Juvvadi)
Built in 1901 and captured here in 1905, Memorial Tower is the gateway to the Quad and was originally built to honor Penn alumni who died in the Spanish-American War. It now houses Ware’s faculty director and contains a library, public kitchen, and lounge. The Quad is currently undergoing a $200 million renovation. (Photo from Penn Archives | Photo by George Botros)
Captured in 1969, this image shows College Hall, the oldest building on Penn's campus. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. Today, it houses the President's office, the Department of History, and classrooms. (Photo from Penn Archives | Photo by Kelly Chen)
The Palestra and the Hutchinson Gymnasium, built in 1926 and 1928 respectively, serve as the hub for Penn’s basketball and volleyball games. The Palestra, nicknamed the “Cathedral of College Basketball,” is a renowned building for college basketball, hosting more games, visiting teams, and NCAA tournaments than any other venue in history. Hutchinson Gymnasium also houses other Penn sports like wrestling, fencing, and gymnastics. Photographed above in 1928, the area today is noticeably more green and booming with activity. (Photo from Penn Archives | Photo by Derek Wong)
Hey Day, as captured above in 1976 and 2022, is a Penn tradition that dates back to 1916, which celebrates juniors becoming seniors. Students often wear red shirts, carry walking sticks, and bite into flat-brimmed hats. (Photo from Penn Archives | Photo by Muyi Li)
Van Pelt Library was opened in 1962 and was captured above shortly after in 1965. The iconic Split Button sculpture was added in 1981. Today, Van Pelt serves as Penn’s main library. (Photo from Penn Archives | Photo by George Botros)
Commencement in June 1948 was held in the Quad. Today, Commencement is usually held on Franklin Field. (Photo from Penn Archives | Photo by Jesse Zhang)
The McDonald's at 40th and Walnut streets will now undergo construction starting January 2023. (Rendering from Mosaic Development Partners | Photo by Jesse Zhang)