plan aims to return favorite campus route to original splendor
L. Bruce & Co. Landscape architects
Memorial Drive will reopen this fall after summer road repairs
closed the stretch between West Campus Road and the west end
of Snow Hall. Crews replaced the road and its base, which
had deteriorated over the years.
The project is a precursor to what the University hopes will
be a dramatic facelift. The Campus Master Plan, approved in
1997, paid special attention to cherished areas of campus,
concluding that "landscape features may be as significant
to a sense of tradition as signature buildings."
The plan for Memorial Drive calls for renovations to ease
pedestrian access and emphasize the sweeping vista from the
Memorial Campanile, over Potter Lake and Marvin Grove, down
to Memorial Stadium:
-New pedestrian routes will line both the north and south
sides of the drive, with new routes to connect to the top
of the Hill. Parking spaces that have obscured the northern
view will be moved, said University Architect Warren Corman,
e'50. "No cars will be parked on the north side, and
cars parked on the south will be at 90 degrees into the Hill
rather than parallel," he explained. "We'll also
add benches, more lighting and scenic overlooks that will
allow people to really enjoy the view on the north side."
Additional walkways will encourage more strolls through
Marvin Grove and along Potter Lake.
More plantings and landscape elements will draw attention
to the Campanile as the drive's focal point.
Ultimately, vehicular access to the drive will be restricted.
University leaders are proceeding with initial drawings for
the renovation, but a timetable for construction will not
be set until private funding for the project is secured, according
to Corman. "After World War I, Memorial Drive was designed
as a beautiful drive, not meant for parking," he said.
"Over the years it has really become a concentrated parking
lot and service drive to avoid the traffic booths on Jayhawk
Boulevard. We want to return it to the beautiful spot it was
intended to be."