Archive for Wednesday, April 1, 2009

KU unveils master plan, aims to preserve campus history

KU has a new plan to maintain the historic nature and beauty of its campus.

April 1, 2009

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Kansas University sophomore Adam Vossen, of Tecumseh, makes his way to the top of the hill Wednesday at the intersection of 15th Street and Engel Road on campus. KU should renew its commitment to preserving historic portions of campus as the university grows, according to a campus heritage plan that was discussed at an event Wednesday.

Kansas University sophomore Adam Vossen, of Tecumseh, makes his way to the top of the hill Wednesday at the intersection of 15th Street and Engel Road on campus. KU should renew its commitment to preserving historic portions of campus as the university grows, according to a campus heritage plan that was discussed at an event Wednesday.

A campus heritage plan at Kansas University is calling for a renewed focus on preservation of the historic campus while recognizing that growth is inevitable.

Peg Livingood, project manager for the campus heritage plan, discussed portions of the plan with about 20 members of the public Wednesday afternoon, while providing a brief history of the campus itself.

Her presentation detailed a time when elm trees lined Jayhawk Boulevard, before dying off in the 1960s, partially because of disease, she said. The trees could be back — although not likely as a single species — along with other aspects of the historical design on campus.

Livingood said the document did not intend to stand in the way of development, and identifies areas for future development that would not hinder the historic nature of the campus. One proposed development area, for example, is the corner of campus near Joseph R. Pearson and Carruth-O’Leary halls.

“Any plan has to take into account the realities of a growing research institution,” Livingood said. “That means change is going on nonstop.”

Much of the plan, she said, focuses on inventory of what the campus already has and seeks to preserve it. One relatively inexpensive portion of the plan involves clearing unintended vegetation from blocking lines of sight around campus, she said.

She also mentioned some other recommendations of the plan included the formation of a Campus Heritage Advisory Board and a strengthened planning process where early input can be given.

Aspects of the plan are already in place, she said, as heritage advisers were able to keep a steam tunnel entrance away from the middle of a plot of land east of Lippincott Hall currently covered in dirt.

After asking whether the entrance could be placed closer to the sidewalk in a less disruptive place, planners agreed, she said.

“That’s one example of how it’s been very effective,” Livingood said.

The plan will be used during upcoming reconstruction work on Jayhawk Boulevard, Livingood said.

Other aspects covered in the heritage plan include addressing the exterior of Spooner Hall, which Livingood said is the oldest remaining building on campus in its original state. Its exterior is “crumbling,” she said.

Also, future landscaping plans call for replenishing Marvin Grove, an area of trees near the Spencer Museum of Art and Campanile Hill, once populated by walnut trees planted under the direction of former chancellor James Marvin.

Comments

kerplunkr 6 years, 3 months ago

It's about time KU addresses this issue. I've been disgusted with the looks of the campus since they started building the new football facilities.

Has anyone seen the monstrosity (besides the hotel) going up just north of the Alumni Center across from the KU Union parking garage? They look like water storage tanks or 1/4 size grain silos. It makes me want to rip my eyes out.

terrapin2 6 years, 3 months ago

kerplunkr, There have been two large water storage tanks at that location for many years. Those storage tanks supply water to the university, which is necessary since KU sits atop the highest hill in Lawrence area. They may be upgrading/replacing the old tanks but I haven't seen them to be able to say for sure.

Check out the satellite view of that area on Google Maps and you'll see one white water tank and another larger green water tank. They've been hidden behind a line of trees & evergreens for many years.

kerplunkr 6 years, 3 months ago

terrapin2,

Thanks for the clarification about the water tanks. You are right, I never noticed them before because trees and a small hill obstructed them. However, the hill and trees have been leveled to make room for something else. I wonder what?

Danimal 6 years, 3 months ago

They have to realign the street so it points directly at the door of that God blessed hotel. I'm guessing that is why they ripped all of those trees out. Maybe they have to upgrade the tanks as well since they are putting what is basically a 10 story high-rise building in a residential neighborhood.

I'm totally up for KU planting some of the new disease resistant elms along Jayhawk Blvd! The grove is also getting thinned out a little too much.

That football facility and its practice fields are a blight on the north side of campus though. It doesn't even match the stadium. I also like how KUAC gice "Kivisto Field" top billing over Memorial Stadium. Honoring some rich alum who paid a few million dollars (which he hasn't paid yet) over the 170 some odd KU students and faculty that were killed in WWI, keep it classy KU.

Peetro1981 6 years, 3 months ago

Many of the surrounding neighborhoods....also referred to as the "student ghetto" need destroyed. If you're not growing you're standing still...meaning you're left behind and stagnate.

You folks need to come live in western Kansas with me to see how spoiled rotten you are to live in one of the greatest college towns in America.

Tom McCune 6 years, 3 months ago

I'm old enough to remember the elm trees that lined Jayhawk Boulevard. They were large enough and old enough to form a complete arch over the street in some places.

Actually, there were quite a few streets in quite a few towns where that was the case. Especially in the Summer, it provided a cool, shady outdoor street space that you just never see any more. If you are too young to have ever experienced a Kansas street covered by a full arch of Ulmus americana on a Summer day, you have missed one of life's greatest simple pleasures.

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