If you've been on a campus visit to the University of Minnesota this year, then you have may have noticed that Northrop Memorial Auditorium is currently under construction. In February 2011, construction workers began to deconstruct the delicate building. The renovations that will be completed in August 2013 will make Northrop more usable for the events and needs of the University or Minnesota campus. As the second most recognized icon in Minnesota, it is important to preserve the historic value of Northrop Memorial Auditorium during this process.
Northrop was built in 1929 as a gathering place for performing arts, academic ceremonies, and major civic events. Prior to the deconstruction, Northrop was used for only 51 events each year, and held seating for 4,800 people. The restoration will feature a 2,750-seat hall, which is the optimal size for acoustics and will therefore bring more of the world's great artists to the U of M.
Additionally, Northrop will house the University Honors Program, the Institute for Advanced Study, and Innovation by Design. The new Northrop will focus more on the students of the University; in the past, student contact with the building has been minimal. The renovation will also increase the amount of public study space on the East Bank campus by 50%. This will bring a whole new energy to the building, as it will be available to students day and night for study.
The work to the interior of the performance hall is already underway. Northrop is a beautiful center point on our campus; I look forward to seeing the outcome of this project in my time here at the University of Minnesota! Watch the video below for more information about how Northrop has changed through the years.