Campus Landscape Master Plan recommendations for the Main Quad District support the rehabilitation of a beloved campus space that is continuously in need of restoration while at the same time highlighting the commitment to resiliency in the core of the campus.
1. Enhance Main Quad Courtyards
2. Main Quad Turf Restoration
3. Illini Union + Anniversary Plaza Restoration
4. Centennial Court Restoration
Changes to Anniversary Plaza should respect the original design intent. As paving and planting is restored, potential exists for small changes to improve the functionality of this space. By stepping the northern edge, a small amphitheater space is created. A proposed arc on the south edge of the plaza reflects the geometry of the overlook at Foellinger Auditorium. This provides additional space for temporary pop-ups, while creating an opportunity to enhance the view of the Main Quad from the Illini Union. A simple, low water feature is proposed within the arc. The water feature serves as year-round interest, integrating water and potentially ice, serving as simple stepped seating when not in use. Stakeholders shared a desire for more water features. This approach could fill that void and create a stronger destination in one of the area’s most prominent locations.
Turf and Water Collection
The triangular turf panel adjacent and south of Anniversary Plaza is an ideal location for an underground water collection cistern given the absence of utilities in this location (irrigation and electric duct only). An underground cistern would have the ability to accommodate all runoff from the Main Quad – approximately 20 acres of the micro watershed L1 in which it is located, as defined in the 2013 Stormwater Collection System Analysis.
There are two locations recommended for restricting drainage to divert into the cistern. The water collected would be slowly released to percolate as groundwater, and/or could be made available for reuse pending alignment with Illinois State law. A cistern is already located at the Institute for Genomic Biology. Rainwater downspouts on Quad buildings can be rerouted into this underground storage to reduce burden on storm sewers.