Memorial Union and Alumni Park Tour

APA Wisconsin Chapter


Thursday, June 28, 2018
4:30 p.m. - 6:15 p.m. CDT

Madison, WI, United States

CM | 1.75

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The Memorial Union, one of the most beloved destinations on campus since its construction in 1928, completed a years-long historic restoration project in the fall of 2017 that maintained the historic integrity of the building while also updating spaces for activities and events, improving accessibility, upgrading infrastructure, and improving sustainability.  Similarly, the Union Terrace underwent an upgrade to improve accessibility, increase capacity, expand the Lakeshore Path, expand the Brat Stand, and add new food options. 


Alumni Park was also completed in the fall of 2017.  Immediately adjacent to the Union, Alumni Park replaced the UW’s parking lot 1 along the Lake Mendota shoreline.  Originally included in the 1908 Campus Master Plan, the idea of a lakefront park resurfaced intermittently through 2005, when the concept of the park was included in the 2005 Master Plan.  The Wisconsin Alumni Association began planning for Alumni Park in 2009, and construction began in 2015. 


All three projects are the result of a long-term plan combined with visionary design.  Tour guides from the UW-Madison and design firm SmithGroupJJR will cover:

·         Project backgrounds and the history of the spaces;

·         How the Union was restored and modernized while respecting the building’s origins;

·         The interaction between the interior space of the Union and the outdoor spaces of Alumni Park and the Union Terrace;

·         The challenges of designing an urban park and plaza along the Lake Mendota shoreline and building over an underground loading dock for the Union;  

·         Integrating UW-Madison history into the Alumni Park design;

·         The design considerations of creating a brand new space in Alumni Park while integrating the project into the surrounding Campus fabric. 


Tour attendees will learn about the following planning-related topics, all of which will cover methods that planners can apply to projects in their own communities:

·         Historic preservation and restoration;

·         Retrofitting, expanding, and upgrading a popular public space;

·         Urban design principles that are behind the design of a brand new waterfront public park;


·         Integrating educational features into public space to enhance the public experience.



Mary Carbine

Mary Carbine joined the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association in 2015 as the Managing Director of Alumni Park and One Alumni Place. Alumni Park, the Wisconsin Alumni Association’s new campus green space, opened in October 2017, with outdoor exhibits that feature University of Wisconsin alumni and traditions. Prior to ... Read More

Gary Brown

Gary A. Brown, PLA, FASLA has been with the University of Wisconsin for over 34 years. After serving for 15 years with the UW System as a landscape architect and facilities planner, his travels around the state’s 26-campus system brought him back to the flagship UW-Madison. He currently serves ... Read More

Eric Schuchardt

Eric has a strong design background grounded in many planning and site design projects located throughout the country. He often serves as a design and planning lead on projects that require a high degree of coordination between large interdisciplinary teams, including the Indiana University Landscape Master Plan, Marquette University Master ... Read More

Nathan Novak

Nate possesses strong skills in conceptual planning and intricate site design. His experience encompasses a broad range of abilities including design studies for transportation corridors, institutional design projects, athletic facilities, unique parks, playgrounds, plazas, residential design and sustainable design. Nate has a vast amount of experience in the campus practice ... Read More

Bill Patek

Bill Patek has extensive experience leading a wide variety of campus planning and design projects. As the director of SmithGroupJJR’s Madison Office, his expertise encompasses all project phases from master planning, schematic design, and design guideline preparation to construction documentation and administration. He has worked on dozens of campus ... Read More

Paul Broadhead

Paul Broadhead spent a career designing, building and managing large event venues. The breadth of these venues run from University student facilities to live performance art facilities to college and professional sports venues. For the past ten years Paul has worked for the Wisconsin Union as the Facilities Director. This ... Read More

Contact Info

Amanda Arnold,