Visitor Center

project status

Construction start: Summer 2012
Completion: Early 2014


Northwestern University plans to construct a new state-of-the art visitor center for prospective students and their families. The 170,000 gross SF facility, designed by the renowned Chicago architectural firm of Perkins+Will, will include an auditorium with approximately 160 seats, meeting rooms, offices for admissions visitors staff, and a two story reception area. Lake Michigan and the surrounding landscape will provide a dramatic backdrop for prospective students and their families to enjoy.

In order to provide adequate parking for visitors and to comply with City of Evanston zoning requirements, the new visitor center will include a parking garage that will accommodate approximately 435 cars. Upon completion, the university parking office will move to the ground floor of the parking garage from its current location at 1819 Hinman.

The south and west facades of the garage will be enclosed in glass and stone to help obscure the visibility of the cars in the garage and to continue the facade of the center's portion of the structure. The design of the center will reflect the academic architecture of Northwestern University’s campus, create an entry to the campus, and enhance the visitor’s experience.

The interior build out of the center will be designed with a minimum goal of LEED CI Silver rating per the USGBC system. Additional sustainable features will include a geothermal heat exchange system to heat and cool the garage area and reserved spaces for charging electric cars.

Estimated cost of the new visitor center is $32 million. Construction is expected to begin later this summer and take 18 months with completion slated for early 2014.

The Northwestern University Newscenter article on this project can be found here.


Project Management:
Ron Nayler, Associate Vice President for Facilities Management
Bonnie Humphrey, Director Facilities Management Design & Construction
Sue Budinsky, Project Manager

Architect, Engineers & Consultants:
Perkins + Will, Chicago


Structural Engineer:
Walker Parking Consultants

Civil Engineer:

contact information

All inquiries should be directed to:

Sue Budinsky, Project Manager
Northwestern University
Facilities Management Design & Construction
2020 Ridge Avenue
Evanston, IL 60208
Phone: 847-491-3677
Fax: 847-491-3869