Law school, recentered
A recently as Tuesday of last week, Penn Law’s Courtyard remained an off-limits construction site. The Quote Wall still blocked the best views of Golkin Hall. Dust or mud was on every surface. Large trenches ran east to west, and planting beds were empty holes. Construction equipment and debris littered the ground.
By Friday morning, a beautiful green lawn was back at the heart of the Law School. Thanks to the efforts of scores of people, who sluiced in and spread topsoil, craned trees over the Golkin Hall roof, moved dirt with a bulldozer, carried in shrubs, dug holes, wheel barrowed in thousands of square feet of sod, and set trees and shrubs in the ground, the Courtyard returned after eighteen months of renovation. What a difference forty-eight hours make. And what a difference the Courtyard makes.
If you look eastward from the patio outside The Clock, the view across the lawn shows that Golkin Hall makes a very handsome link between the collegiate Georgian of Silverman Hall, and the simpler lines of Tanenbaum Hall (which itself was built to echo the solidity and line of Silverman). Golkin’s light, airy and angled façade promises good spaces inside (and actually allows for a peak through the windows). Once again, the Courtyard itself is open, light and airy, and people are starting to use it as they travel from Silverman to Gittis to Tanenbaum and back again.
The Law School has its center back, unique among law schools. Our interior quadrangle is one of the things that helps keep Penn feeling like Penn. Congratulations to us all! And thanks to the teams that made it possible!
Posted by Gary Clinton, Dean of Students, University of Pennsylvania Law School