University Officials Join to Recognize Butler Plaza and Lawn Restoration Project Completion

November 16, 2017

University Provost John H. Coatsworth and University Librarian and Vice Provost Ann D. Thornton joined today with David M. Greenberg, executive vice president for Columbia University Facilities and Operations, and administrators throughout Columbia University Libraries and Facilities and Operations to officially recognize the Butler Plaza and Lawn restoration project, which was completed earlier this fall.

The project replaced steps and temporary metal ramps from the east and west approaches to the library’s main entrance with permanent, accessible pathways, added a permanent ramp to replace the temporary ramp from the northern approach, and restored the plaza and lawn with new features consistent with the campus's overall architecture and landscaping plan.

During any construction project, Facilities and Operations takes advantage of the conditions to expand the scope and make other improvements that would be cost prohibitive absent the primary project, and this effort included several such improvements in addition to the project's primary accessibility improvements.

Additional improvements included adding benches along the lawn’s perimeter to create a more open and welcoming space; adding technical infrastructure for outdoor Wi-Fi to be available on the popular South Lawns for the benefit of students and the community; improvements to drainage solutions; and added technical security measures for Public Safety.

The main portion of the project, which included a complete reconstruction of Butler Plaza, was completed during the summer months when the population on campus is reduced. The project's first phase was completed by the start of the fall semester, including the reopening of the library's main entrance and completion of the two sloping pathways leading to the library's main entrance from the east and west.

The second phase of the project focused on Butler Lawn and its perimeter, including eight new benches, new lampposts with Wi-Fi capabilities embedded, new plantings and relocation of the drainage system from the lawn to the hardscape. The pathways along the perimeter of the lawn were completed and reopened in early October, with the completion of granite installation for areas of the plaza and new, permanent ramp completed a few weeks after.