Lakefront Gateway – Progress

Fencing along the lakefront

What’s the Ruckus?

On May 22, 2015, workers started fencing off the northeast corner of campus, between Lake Street, the Union Terrace, and Langdon Street, and the gentle music of jackhammers soon followed. What’s the deal? Construction has begun on Alumni Park and One Alumni Place, as well as on Memorial Union’s new loading dock.

This marks the next phase in building the UW’s Lakefront Gateway. Though Madison’s climate makes fools of anyone who would plan outdoor construction, we’ll do our best to keep you up to date on what’s happening — and (we hope) will happen — on the site.

Curious about parking? Or the plan’s effect on plant life? We have info for you!

Project Updates

Project Updates

  • Fall 2015: Work began on the interior of Memorial Union’s east side
  • Sept. 2, 2015: Goodspeed Family Pier removed
  • Sept. 1, 2015: Access to Goodspeed Family Pier, swimming pier, and parts of Terrace closed off
  • August 2015: Mass excavation of the underground loading dock.
  • June 2015: Langdon Street cut off to vehicle traffic.
  • June 2015: Asphalt removed from Lot 1, between Union and Red Gym.
  • May 22, 2015: Construction begins
  • May 1, 2015: Below Alumni Center prepares for work
    • Alumni are still welcome at the front desk, but please pardon our mess!

Upcoming Milestones

Upcoming Milestones

  • Fall 2015: Work begins on the interior of Memorial Union’s east side
  • October 2015: Homecoming (come back to campus; check out the site
  • November 2015: Loading dock complete
  • February 2016: One Alumni Place opens
  • Spring 2016: construction begins on Alumni Park
  • Summer 2016: Terrace reopens
  • Fall 2016: Memorial Union first floor reopens
  • November 2016: Alumni Park opens
  • 2017: Der Rathskeller reopens


The Best Laid Plants

Lake Mendota as viewed from the back of the Red Gym.The greening of the Lakefront Gateway, by the numbers

As construction begins this summer on the Lakefront Gateway, visitors will see a lot of changes in the flora along the east end of UW-Madison’s lakeshore. While the work will require the removal of some older trees, many more will be added, and an acre and a quarter of asphalt will give way to lawns and gardens when Lot 1 is replaced with an underground loading dock, topped by Alumni Park.

The Lakefront Gateway area currently has fewer than 50 trees in total. After construction is finished, that number will grow to 75. In all, the new Lakefront Gateway — which combines Alumni Park with One Alumni Place (a renovated alumni center) and the Memorial Union Reinvestment — will see the inclusion of 10,600 plants in the area between the Union Terrace, Lake Street, and Langdon Street. Here’s how the planting plan breaks down:


Maple 5
Birch 19
Hawthorne 7
Locust 6
Oak 9
Elm 3
Serviceberry 6
Crabapple 8
Hemlock 12
Total 75


Summersweet 14
Dogwood 58
Honeysuckle 90
Fothergilla 30
Hydrangea 28
Rhododendron 12
Sumac 73
Rose 283
Viburnum 18
Holly 9
Juniper 194
Cypress 88
Yew 66
Total 963


Feather reed grass 261
Tufted Hairgrass 314
Purple love grass 599
Switch grass 460
Prairie dropseed 989
Littlebluestem 436
Total 3059


Blue ice star 516
Wild ginger 395
Astilbe 118
Lady fern 54
Bugloss 55
Woodfern 69
Hosta 305
Daylily 36
Bloodroot 62
Total 1610


Boston ivy 13
Total 13


Lily turf 2364
Daffodil 2516
Total 4880


Lot 1 and Part of Langdon Street to Close May 26 for Construction

Path to Lake Mendota through parking stalls.UW-Madison’s Parking Lot 1, which is off Langdon Street adjacent to Memorial Union, will close starting May 26, 2015, to make way for construction of Alumni Park as part of the Lakefront Gateway project. The plan will result in the removal of a surface lot, replacing it with green space that connects the Union Terrace with Library Mall. The resulting Alumni Park will honor the Wisconsin Idea and University of Wisconsin-Madison alumni.

The project will incorporate several innovative engineering efforts. Memorial Union’s existing loading dock will be replaced by underground access. The new loading dock will include a massive turntable-like structure — much like a railroad roundhouse — that will enable delivery trucks to turn in the confined space.

The Terrace will not be affected by construction. The Memorial Union, the Pyle Center, and the Wisconsin Alumni Association will remain open to all patrons in accordance with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.

Langdon Street, from North Lake Street to Park Street, will be closed from May 26, 2015, to the end of October. Construction in Lot 1 will continue into summer 2016. Parking will no longer be available in Lot 1, but more than 1,400 visitor parking stalls are located within three blocks of Memorial Union. You can also check the Campus Transportation System web site for more information.

Lot 6 (Helen C. White Library Parking Garage)

  • 70 metered parking spaces available daily in the upper level
  • 83 meters in lower level available to visitors evenings and weekends only (except on special event days)
  • Sundays, and after 10 p.m. Mon-Sat free
  • Located west of Memorial Union
  • Enter on Park Street

Lot 46

  • 92 metered visitor spaces
  • Available daily
  • Located between University Avenue and Johnson Street, adjacent to University Square
  • Enter on Lake Street

Lot 83 (Fluno Center)

  • 50-100 spaces
  • Available daily
  • Adjacent to Lot 46; enter on Lake Street

Lot 7 (Grainger Hall)

  • 45 metered spaces available for limited hourly parking daily
  • 400 visitor spaces available evenings and weekend hours (except on special event days)
  • Sundays, and after 10 p.m. Mon-Sat free
  • Located between University Avenue and Johnson Street
  • Entrance on Brooks Street

Lake Street Ramp

  • 1,066 spaces of paid visitor parking
  • Available daily
  • Located three blocks southeast of Memorial Union on Lake Street between State Street and University Avenue
  • Enter on Lake Street or Francis Street