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Ha ll for Economics

hall for economics

This is a defining moment in the history of economics at the University of Chicago. President Robert J. Zimmer and the University are making an unprecedented investment in the resources—human, intellectual, and physical—necessary to create a close-knit community of scholars, from undergraduates to senior professors and distinguished visiting fellows, committed to our culture and the future of Chicago economics.



he Chicago School of Economics has produced brilliant thinkers. They, in turn, have produced great ideas—ideas that have transformed the study of economics, shaped public policy and the law, and changed the world. And starting today, the Chicago School will have a home that truly reflects its eminence on campus and in the world.

The University has reimagined the former Chicago Theological Seminary at 5757 South University Avenue as a new Hall for Economics—home to an imaginative, ambitious, and growing Department of Economics and to the vigorous programs of the Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics, which has begun to set the leading-edge agenda for economics by bringing together scholars and practitioners for study, research, and debate. The Hall, which also includes a new research pavilion, will create a destination for economics scholars worldwide.


hall for economics

Your support will help launch the next Chicago School of Economics, one that will further transform economic thought and science, creating and spreading knowledge with the potential to once again shape the discipline and the world.

Architect Ann Beha, known for dramatically restoring important buildings for universities, libraries, and cultural institutions, will preserve the character of the 1920s building while adapting it for current and future academic purposes. On the first floor, undergraduate program offices and a cafÊ will be located in and around the beautifully tiled Cloisters. The top floor will be transformed into graduate student work lofts, with more than 90 individual work spaces, and conference rooms for group work and debate. On the floors between, classes and seminars will meet in spaces that combine the latest technology with vaulted stone ceilings and stained glass. UChicago faculty and visiting scholars will have ample office, conference, and meeting space. And the Gothic beauty of the main chapel will become the Graduate Student Commons, a focal point of activity where students and others can gather, study, and discuss. That space’s adaptability, along with its audiovisual and technological capabilities, will also attract individuals and groups from across campus for presentations, lectures, and special events.


New construction will add more faculty offices; a state-of-the art, naturally lit below-ground lecture hall; laboratories; and other essential resources, including access to computers for the analysis of large data sets and the broad economic modeling required for advanced economic research. Special vestibules will connect to existing houses on Woodlawn Avenue that will serve as economics research centers.


Affirming the centrality of economics to the University’s eminence, these plans also transform the campus. The main entrance of the Hall for Economics will face a new landscaped pedestrian walkway on 58th Street between University and Woodlawn Avenues. The walkway will reconnect the University of Chicago Booth School of Business to the main campus, further lifting physical and disciplinary barriers. And in this new location, the Department of Economics and the Becker Friedman Institute will be perfectly positioned among their primary campus partners, including Chicago Booth, the Departments of Mathematics and Computer Science, the Stevanovich Center for Financial Mathematics, the Law School, the Harris School of Public Policy Studies, and the College, where economics remains the most popular major.

162-foot tower and lantern, an icon of the Hyde Park skyline

Economic theories developed at the University of Chicago have left their stamp on history, and they continue to influence current events. Gifts to a centrally located Hall for Economics will powerfully integrate learning, research, collaboration, engagement, and debate in a single complex.

Original construction (in three phases): 1923–28 Traditional Gothic architecture, with Jacobean and Tudor influences

Original architectural design: Herbert H. Riddle Hyde Park-Kenwood Historic District National Register of Historic Places Original structure housed dormitories, classrooms, and worship spaces Masonry structure with steel-framed slate roof Original site trees reclaimed for project use

Conference/Seminar/classroom BFI and affiliated Programs economics and undergraduate program Graduate students and research research and faculty


hall for economics



151,144 square feet 116 offices 90 graduate study work stations 15 seminar and conference rooms 5 lecture hall classrooms 2 computational labs Renovation and construction costs: $105 Million Renovation design project: Ann Beha Architects of Boston Project timeline: June 2014: original structure renovation January 2015: pavilion construction and Woodlawn Avenue renovation


Targeting US Green Building Council’s LEED Silver certification


Research and Executive Spaces

5740 South Woodlawn Avenue 5750 South Woodlawn Avenue

Two historic Woodlawn Avenue structures will be physically connected to the Hall for Economics. These unique buildings provide the opportunity for focused research efforts.


hall for economics

Becker Friedman Institute Lobby Reception and welcome area 2nd Floor

The entrance and vestibule serve as an area to welcome both University guests and academic visitors to the Institute.


211 Office

209 office

Becker Friedman Institute Suite

210 conf

212 office

The Institute’s administrative hub 2nd Floor

The senior leadership suite of offices of the Becker Friedman Institute.

Department of Economics Lobby Reception and welcome area Lobby

3rd Floor

The entrance and vestibule serve as an area to welcome both University guests and academic visitors to the Department of Economics.

309 conf

310 Lounge

312 office 313 office

Department of Economics SUITE Department of Economics’ administrative hub 3rd Floor

The senior leadership suite of offices of the Department of Economics.


Gathering Spaces

Northeast Terrace Adjacent to the lobby-level Faculty Seminar Lounge and the Colonnade

Two beautiful campus courtyard terraces create wonderful connectors from the Hall for Economics to new outdoor oases.

Northwest Terrace Adjacent to the Undergraduate Program Offices and the Cloister

Each terrace overlooks the extended quadrangle and new pedestrian thoroughfare.


hall for economics

Graduate Student Commons and foyer Chapel transformed into multifunctional student space 2nd Floor

The Graduate Student Commons and Foyer provide a tremendously flexible venue, with both individual and group work settings, as well as the option to accommodate large events and seminars within the majestic space.


Faculty Seminar Lounge Prominent faculty gathering area Lobby Level

Centrally located on the lobby level, the Lounge is a hub for intellectual exchange and academic dialogue in a distinguished yet welcoming setting.

Cloister Historic space preserved as undergraduate student and faculty activity hub Lobby Level

The Cloister is a majestic gathering area that frames the Undergraduate Program Offices and opens to a striking outdoor terraced event and meeting space. The Cloister connects to new classrooms and a refurbished seminar room.


hall for economics

Gathering Spaces Continued

colonnade Centrally located gathering space Lobby Level

The Colonnade, to the right of the Grand Archway main entrance, is a connecting terrace-level space that leads to the Becker Friedman Institute offices.

CafĂŠ Gathering spot adjacent to the main entrance Lobby Level

A bright and informal campus food service and gathering location, located just off the Grand Archway lobby entrance.


Department of Economics Lounge Prominent gathering spot for the academic community 3rd Floor

A third-floor lounge located within the Department of Economics provides a convenient and friendly focal point for the entire academic community—and encourages intellectual debate and exchange.

University Avenue Foyer Foyer adjoining the Cloister and undergraduate offices Lobby Level

The University Avenue entrance creates a student-focused lobby that will be a hub for University activities.


hall for economics

Gathering Spaces Continued

Grand Archway Lobby Majestic 58th Street entrance to 5757 South University Avenue building Lobby Level

The new lobby entrance, which integrates the historic faรงade, connects all floors. Exhibits, information, and interactive messaging are incorporated throughout the lobby areas.

Concourse Lobby Flexible community space Concourse Level

An expansive and completely flexible area creates gathering and exposition space opportunities with the adjacent Concourse Classroom.


Academic and Student Spaces

Concourse Classroom Below-grade 90-student tiered classroom Concourse Level

State-of-the-art classroom features overhead natural sky lighting.

Research Pavilion Classroom Impressive next generation 100-student tiered classroom Lobby Level

Located within the newly constructed Research Pavilion, this classroom includes advanced technological features and learning tools.


hall for economics

Library Classroom Elegant 60-student tiered academic classroom 2nd Floor

The former library is transformed into a distinctive tiered classroom. Original paneling, a decorative ceiling, and an impressive fireplace add to the charm of this historic space.

Chapel Seminar Room Beautifully preserved ornate two-story space Lobby Level

Repurposed chapel is transformed into a flexible academic and meeting space. The wood-paneled walls include a full range of AV and technology systems, while preserving historic architectural details.


Octagonal Seminar Rooms Inspiring spaces for discussion and debate Lobby and Tower Levels

Dramatic octagonal seminar rooms located throughout the majestic tower provide a variety of academic and meeting options for the entire economics community.

Graduate Student Work Loft Entire former attic transformed into graduate work space 5th Floor

The entire fifth floor represents reclaimed space that will flourish as the heart of graduate student academic efforts and learning. More than 100 flexible individual and group spaces accommodate the academic needs of student scholars.


hall for economics

Academic and Student Spaces Continued

digital resources center Computing resources for the economics community Concourse Level

A networked computer cluster designed for student academic pursuits, with new-generation tools for economics research and study.

Computational Research Lab Advanced tools for modern economics research Concourse Level

High-performance computational center provides a venue that supports cutting-edge computing technologies for collaborative research projects using state-ofthe-art software and emerging computational strategies.


Undergraduate Suite Undergraduate Program Office Suite Lobby and Concourse Levels

The former library stack renewed as academic programming offices for the undergraduate student population.

Meeting and Seminar Rooms Spaces for group work and collaboration Located Throughout the 5757 South University Avenue Building

A variety of well-appointed and technology-equipped conference spaces offer a range of room sizes.


hall for economics

Academic and Student Spaces Continued

BECKER FRIEDMAN INSTITUTE OFFICES DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS OFFICES Personal work spaces for Institute and Department of Economics faculty Located Throughout the 5757 South University Avenue Building

Offers a range of modern offices, including a variety of square footages, building orientations, and campus views.


Defining Moment | Unpr ecedented In v estment

The Future of Chicago Economics

Contact Deborah Ryan at the Becker Friedman Institute to learn more about a wide variety of exceptional naming opportunities throughout this historic structure. 773.702.3718 |

Defining Moment | Unpr ecedented In v estment | Th e Futur e of Chicago Economics

University of Chicago - Hall for Economics  
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