Logan Center Groundbreaking
The University of Chicago welcomed over 400 alumni, faculty, students, staff, and friends in celebration of the Groundbreaking Ceremony. Live performances—staged across all of campus—set the tenor for the evening and showcased the breadth of UChicago Arts.
We are deeply honored to have been given this responsibility which we share with our associate architects Holabird and Root, our consultants, and Turner Construction. For this opportunity, we thank the University of Chicago, the Logan Family, Adele Gidwitz, Bernie Del Giorno and the many donors and supporters here today.
It has been said that architecture is the mother of all arts. While we may not claim parenthood here today, we know personally that we love our siblings—our visual and performing sister and brother arts.
Our lives as creative people have been sustained, nourished, and inspired by our relationship to other creative people. The Logan Center is a place where creative lives will touch.
This touching is the soul at the center of this building. Students and teachers will come here to lose themselves in the world of art, so that they may find new version of themselves. It will be a place of invention and reinvention.
When we first won this competition we imagined this building as representation of two aspects of the Midwest—the low sky lit building as the furrowed plains the tower as the reference to the great skyscraper heritage of Chicago. The low building connects to the daily life lived on the grounds and quadrangles of the University. The tall building is a beacon of activity across the Midway. It looks to the north to Lake Michigan and South to its residential and business neighbors. This center has been filled with the programs of the visual, music, film, and performing arts departments in a rich matrix that weaves a web of overlapping disciplines. We hope that the spaces we have imagined provide the opportunity for work which we have never imagined.
Yeats said, “In dreams begin responsibilities.” This ceremony marks the completion of a certain set of responsibilities. We certainly still have a long way to go. But now we can begin our dreams.
The University of Chicago welcomed over 400 alumni, faculty, students, staff and friends in celebration of the May 12, 2010 Groundbreaking Ceremony. Live performances—staged across all of campus—set the tenor for the evening and showcased the breadth of UChicago Arts. The Smart Museum opened its galleries and hosted readings and recitals by Creative Writing faculty and students. Midway Studios opened its historic doors for an inside look at MFA student work and Cinema and Media Studies student documentary screenings. Leading arts faculty shared recent research and cross-disciplinary collaborations in roundtable discussions. Soul Umoja gospel choir charmed audiences on the stairs of the Reynolds Club. UBallet graced the stage in Mandel Hall. And University Theater, the Festival of the Arts and other representatives of the over 70 student arts groups entertained guests as they arrived.
Setting the Stage for Celebration
Rockefeller’s 72-bell carillon heralded the next act, and guests were serenaded by a cappella group Voices in Your Head on the Quads and treated to acrobatic antics by Off-Off Campus performers on the Midway as they followed the procession to the groundbreaking site of the Logan Center.
The Main Event
Staged before a standing-room-only audience in a tent abuzz with energy and anticipation, the official ceremony opened with a brass fanfare, followed by dramatic spotlight introductions from Marilu Henner, X’74, Patrick McCoy, AB ’69, faculty member Thomas Christensen, students David Cordero and Kate Dries, Court Theatre’s Charles Newell, and University Theater’s Heidi Coleman. Musical performances by University Symphony Orchestra and Motet Choir seamlessly underscored the spirited event. Video projections illuminated UChicago Arts’ rich history, distinctive arts practice and scholarship models, and community-based partnerships.
Congratulatory remarks by Provosts Larry F. Norman and Thomas F. Rosenbaum, President Robert J. Zimmer, Chairman Andrew M. Alper, AB’80, MBA’81, and Ronne Hartfield, AB’55, AM’82 set the context for the arts and the prominent role they play in the academic and cultural life of the campus and the community. Curtains were drawn, and spotlights revealed three stunning full-size murals created in partnership with Little Black Pearl and three community partners to be installed on the site.
Honoring Generosity and Leadership
In a lively procession, students approached the stage with ceremonial shovels, which they presented to David Logan and his sons Daniel and Jonathan, and on behalf of Reva and David Logan, their family, and the other leading donors for the center, The University and community joined them in “breaking ground.”
The Celebration Continues…
In a tent bursting with excitement and jubilation guests were introduced to even more arts performances and celebration well into the night. University Jazz X-tet performed an upbeat encore to the program, Court Theatre opened its doors for a final dress rehearsal of Sizwe Banzi is Dead, University Symphony Orchestra hosted an open rehearsal at Mandel Hall, and the Motet Choir performed in the Great Hall at Midway Studios.