Memorial Union Reinvestment

Phase II Overview

Overview of Design Proposals

The design team is currently hard at work finalizing details for the next phase. While plans are not yet set, we have a good idea of what we hope to accomplish in the next phase. The current renderings we have will give you a good sense of those ideas. Please take a look and provide us with your thoughts. The designs are still evolving, and many design changes have come in response to public input.

Phase II has been officially approved by the MUR Design Committee, Union Council, the UW System Board of Regents and the State Building Commission. The project will go out to bid upon 100% design completion.


What Does Phase II Include?

There are a number of significant spaces in the next phase that will undergo preservation and restoration work. While much needed mechanical, fire and sprinkler upgrades will occur in these spaces, the most noticeable work will come in the form of cosmetic restoration. Spaces slated for preservation and restoration include: Der Rathskeller, the Trophy Room, the Historic Terrace, Main Lounge, Tripp Commons, Old Madison, Porter Butts Gallery and the Great Hall. We are excited to return these spaces back to their original grandeur and beauty.

While Der Rathskeller will see preservation, proposals call for significant changes to much of the east end of the first floor. The coffee house will move to the southeast corner of the building and ice cream will sit along the east side, making for easy access from Alumni Park. The space currently occupied by Lakefront on Langdon will also undergo a complete reimagining. To meet the demands of our students and members, the current cafeteria style will be upgraded to a set of three eateries, each one reflecting the styles and general concept of the very popular dining spaces at Union South. Meanwhile, ample seating and lake views will be preserved.

The Terrace:
The Historic Terrace and the historic tree canopy will be preserved. The remaining portions of the Terrace, which were last reconstructed in 1985, will see an upgrade. The proposals call for increased accessibility in and around the Terrace. This includes the addition of ramps to bring the space up to standards, as well as a few additional access paths through the Terrace space. The proposal also calls for a larger stage that moves slightly west. Additionally, the outside grade around the north and east sides of the building will be brought up to the same level as the first floor inside. This will allow for easy flow between the Terrace and the new dining spaces on the north side of the building. This grade raise will also add an additional terraced level to the Terrace. We are perhaps most sensitive to any changes proposed for the Terrace, but public feedback so far has been very positive.