After more than 60 years, Kresge Centennial Hall is undergoing a 21st century transformation. Since the beginning of the 2014/2015 academic year, Kresge has been a construction zone with a major demolition taking place inside the building.


Crews removed old cinderblock walls and antiquated mechanical systems, taking the building down to its bare bones. More than 2,000 tons of material was removed from the hall during the demolition phase, and 98 percent of those materials were recycled.


Now that demolition is complete, the foundation is being laid for an expansion that will connect to Crowe Hall and centralize classroom space on the first and second floors with office and support space on the upper floors. The outside of the building will be improved, too, with masonry work and new windows.


Nearly every Northwestern University undergraduate student has taken humanities classes at Kresge since it was built in 1954. It was designed as a durable space without many creature comforts. When the project is complete by late 2016 it will have a very different look and feel with a lot of natural light, smart classroom technology and updated mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection and communication systems. Project managers said it should achieve at least a LEED Silver rating.


A new designated entry to the building will face the treasured Northwestern Rock with improvements to the landscaping and pathway around the Rock Plaza. As in the past, Kresge will serve as a home for many of the humanities departments from the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences once the renovation is complete.

Follow along with the project as it progresses at the “The Kresge Climb blog.