Purdue Memorial Union Ground Floor Reopens, $47M

Purdue Memorial Union Ground Floor Reopens, $47M

The ground floor of the Purdue Memorial Union, now known as the Atlas Family Marketplace, reopens just in time for the start of the spring semester, following a $47 million renovation to overhaul 67,000 square feet and provide 12 retail dining venues.

“Our thanks to the family of Bob and Judy Atlas, as well as our other generous donors, for making this remarkable renovation possible,” said Matt Folk, president and CEO of the Purdue for Life Foundation and vice president of university development and alumni engagement. “The Atlas Family Marketplace is stunning. It’s a can’t-miss destination for alumni and guests visiting campus and an incredible resource for students, faculty and staff.”

The marketplace features 200 more indoor seats — going from a seating capacity of 700 to 900 — with a variety of furniture options to enhance versatility and collaboration. Better technology, more electrical outlets and updated, family-friendly bathrooms also make the ground floor more practical for visitors.

Two new terraces on the south side of the Union provide more natural light to the interior and also add 11,000 square feet of outdoor dining and collaboration space featuring nearly 150 additional seats and two fire pits.

“The renovation of the existing space and the creation of the two new terraces was truly transformative to the Purdue Memorial Union,” said Jay Wasson, associate vice president of physical facilities. “Through this project, we not only provided more space in a key, iconic campus location, but we also provided modern amenities and increased the accessibility and vibrancy of the ground floor while highlighting the building’s history.”

Preservation of the Union’s legacy was a key component of the renovation, and in addition to the new amenities, visitors will find touches of campus memorabilia throughout the marketplace.

When the State Street Redevelopment Project was underway several years ago, sections of street car rails that were approximately 150 years old were found and recovered under the roadway not far from the Union. That same rail now serves as the foot rest at Walk On’s Sports Bistreaux.

“Throughout the renovated space you’ll find nods to Boilermaker traditions and history,” said Zane Reif, director of the Purdue Memorial Union. “From the inclusion of the limestone sign previously located at the corner of State and Grant streets to the recreation of a 1927 campus plan map, visitors will see the past featured prominently in the modernized marketplace.”

Additional pieces of university history are captured through creative imagery and storytelling opportunities. Original windows and architectural details from the 1924 building construction remain in the renovated space, and original exterior walls uncovered during demolition are now a feature in the marketplace.

The renovated space offers something for students, staff, faculty, alumni and visitors.

“Through our partnership with Aramark, the Atlas Family Marketplace features exciting new dining concepts that are available to both the campus and surrounding community,” Reif said.

The Atlas Family Marketplace houses 12 retail dining locations.


Photos from Purdue University/Rebecca McElhoe.

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