The University of Chicago has developed a strategy to evaluate its Hyde Park campus as part of a decision-making process to enable the University to allocate resources for the future, and which will provide a tool to aid in the planning process and with the intention of enriching and enlivening the campus environment. As preservation gains significance in the planning process, it is also important to recognize that the campus is a living environment and not a museum. IDEA was commissioned to develop an on-going Heritage Resource Survey to conduct on-site building surveys as well as extensive archival research so that the impact of the institution’s notable history of quality architecture and academic achievements are well understood. Over fifty buildings have been surveyed, with selected buildings designated as requiring in-depth documentation reports.
The surveys included a wide range of considerations which depended on the location and age of the buildings identified. Among the areas of survey and research are : physical adaptability; program adaptability; accessibility profile; building condition, deferred maintenance & capital reinvestment; location- geographical context; location- program adjacency; significant exterior & interior features; significant University cultural issues/events/academic achievement; sustainability and energy performance; and technology and regulatory issues. All survey information was entered into a comprehensive database.