Campus on the Hill
The University of Cincinnati forges a new model for campus planning.
By Frank Edgerton Martin
Set atop one of the city's famous hills, the University of Cincinnati
(UC) is one of the nation's largest campus construction sites. First-time
visitors may have no idea of the great transformation happening
here as they arrive at the neo-Colonial McMicken Hall, UC's historic
front door. But in walking through the building, they encounter
a construction panorama at the scale of an entire urban district.
This hole in the ground is not just for parking ramps and blank-walled
research buildings. Rather, in quantity and quality, future buildings
and landscapes at UC's new Main Street core represent one of the
most important campus transformations in American history. Many
of the nation's leading architects are designing new facilities
for student services, recreational sports, housing, and research.
Notable projects already completed include the Arnoff Center for
Design and Art, a subtle study in geometry by Peter Eisenman, and
the copper-roofed Engineering Research Center by UC alumnus Michael
Graves. These widely published projects symbolize an unusual institutional
commitment to design. Less well-known is the story of UC's commitment
to campus master planning and its role in guiding each building
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