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Keeping the city beautiful
According to Carole Zellie, architectural preservationist, “Northrop Memorial Auditorium
is architecturally and historically significant as the focal point of the University campus design envisioned by Cass Gilbert in 1907.”

The monumental Roman Renaissance Revival building was completed in 1930, and is now eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. With its commanding presence at the head of Northrop mall, Zellie regards the building as “one of the preeminent examples of campus planning and design reflecting City Beautiful principles.” She adds, “It is perhaps the most recognizable symbol of the University of Minnesota.”

  • The renovation of Northrop Memorial Auditorium will revitalize the University’s signature campus building and revitalize one of the most recognized buildings in the entire state.
  • Making production-oriented improvements to the lighting systems, technology infrastructure, stage, and dock facilities will increase the functionality of the University’s largest auditorium and ceremonial space.
  • Customer-oriented enhancements like new seating, expanded restroom capacity, and increased accessibility will make Northrop a more comfortable and attractive venue for concerts, lectures, and other events.

Programs and facilities

  • Events at Northrop play a central role in the academic, cultural, and social experiences of students. Freshman convocation, graduation, distinguished lecturers, concerts, and other cultural events all enrich the undergraduate experience.
  • Northrop Memorial Auditorium seats approximately 5,000 people. This seating capacity has for decades made Northrop a unique, mid-sized metropolitan venue for a wide array of non-University cultural events.
  • The renovation of Northrop is long overdue. Aging building systems, as well as changes in technology, seating standards, and audience expectations have made Northrop an outdated facility.

Project details

$2 million

Project scope
Funds will be used to design a renovation of Northrop Memorial Auditorium. Renovation will occur in phases, replacing obsolete building systems and enhancing amenities for audiences and performers while maintaining the historic character of the building.

This request is for design funds only. Funding for construction will be requested in 2004.

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Last modified 12/14/01
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