WMU Campus History

Dalton Promenade : History & Photographs

Chemistry Building Project Page

Until 1970 the Western campus was split into quarters by West Michigan Avenue, which ran east-west, and by Gilkison Avenues and Vande Giessen Road, which were north-south roads.

In the early 70's, the city and state ceded a section of West Michigan Avenue to WMU.  Vande Giessen was also closed off and transformed into a "pedestrian parkway", and dedicated as the "Dalton Promenade".

Architectural rendering of pedestrian promenade, 1970
Rendering of pedestrian promenade, looking
toward Sprau Tower

In order to add visual interest to a long and straight path, the designers added elevation changes to the parkway, creating a series of steps that peaked at the north side of Knauss Hall.

Designers and planners in 1970 were not concerned with how the disabled would travel up and down the steps. The 2007 renovation of the Dalton Promenade replaced the tired and aging concrete walks and landscaping, and created ramps and gradual elevation changes for barrier-free travel across campus.

Chemistry Building Location Map
Location Map
1973 Dalton Promenade photo
Dalton Promenade along Knauss and Dunbar Halls, 1973
Dalton Promenade dedication plaque
1970 photo with enlarged dedication plaque
Dalton Promenade - many steps!
Dalton Promenade - 1970
View of Promenade during construction of Dalton Center
Promenade at far left during Dalton Center construction, 1980
Site work and early demolition of Dalton Promenade, 2006
Site work and early demolition of Dalton Promenade, 2006
2007 - finished Dalton Promenade renovation
2007 - after renovation
2007 - finished Dalton Promenade renovation
2007 - after renovation

 

 

Planning Division of Facilities Management; Mail #5313
1903 W. Michigan Ave.
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5313 USA
(269) 387-8543 or 387-8544 | (269) 387-8818 Fax
campus-facility@wmich.edu

 

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Kalamazoo, MI  49008-5313