I am excited to announce that Trinity University will seek placement on the National Register of Historic Places to create a historic district for the Trinity campus. Approved by the University's Board of Trustees, this initiative is part of the University's recently completed Campus Master Plan. The Campus Master Plan process helped to reinforce the historic nature of our campus and Trinity's duty to honor the legacy of O'Neil Ford's architecture and our significant collection of mid-century modern buildings. Establishing a historic district for the campus is a dramatic step forward that could bring national attention to Trinity and be a differentiator in the competitive higher education marketplace.
The Trinity Tomorrow strategic plan called for the development of a campus master plan that would "ensure future building projects are consistent with the vision and design principles of founding architect O'Neil Ford, the values of a Trinity education, and changing campus needs." A historic district can afford Trinity a number of benefits, including earning the University tax credits with a potential financial benefit of approximately 20 percent of qualified renovation expenses. There are no mandatory restrictions that accompany a National Register listing. As a historic district, the University will seek to preserve the exteriors of buildings. With the exception of notable interior features, Trinity will be allowed significant latitude to renovate the interiors of the buildings within the district.
The Campus Master Plan is the result of a year-and-a-half-long collaborative planning process that has engaged faculty, staff, students, alumni, and external stakeholders. The plan pairs the University's academic mission and the strategic plan objectives with Trinity's historic architectural legacy to create a vision for the campus that is inspiring, functional, and enduring.
One of the signature strategies of the Campus Master Plan calls for establishing a main entrance on Hildebrand Avenue that will create the sense of the University's "front door." A northern gateway will provide an outward face to the University for prospective students and their families, alumni, and visitors and clearly signal arrival on the Trinity campus. The initiative also calls for building a new "Welcome Center" to be located just south of the new entrance drive that could serve as an admissions or alumni center.
The plan activates the "Living/Learning Corridor" that extends from the new campus entrance on Hildebrand to the south entrance near the Bell Athletic Center. The "corridor" will enhance connections between upper and lower campus, improve pedestrian navigation of the campus, and introduce several activity nodes designed to strengthen the campus' east-west connections.
Some of the other key strategies in the plan include:
We are heirs to a historic campus, a mid-century modern masterpiece. The campus is now more than 50 years old, and we must adapt it to meet 21st century needs. The Campus Master Plan will be our guide and includes priorities to renovate some of our oldest buildings and facilities – such as Chapman Center, Halsell, and the Trinity football stadium. Trinity's Campus Master Planning committee, in partnership with architectural group Page, guided the development of a plan that will have a lasting and positive impact on the Trinity community. I am grateful to the committee members. They have worked with tireless dedication on this project. Please congratulate your colleagues on a job well done the next time you see them.
Campus Master Plan Committee:
Diane Graves, Chair
Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs; University Librarian & Professor
James (Jim) Baker
Director, Facilities Services
Director, Campus Planning & Sustainability
Richard Burr, PhD
Assistant Director, Residential Life
Corinne Pache, Ph.D.
Associate Professor & Chair, Classical Studies
Harry Wallace, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Psychology
Gary Logan (ex officio)
Vice President, Finance & Administration
Carol Folbre '81, Ph.D.
Alumni Association Board
I look forward to sharing additional information about the Campus Master Plan in upcoming meetings as we continue our work to ensure Trinity is a "University of the first order" as envisioned by our founders almost 150 years ago.