By the late 1960's both Western Michigan University and the city of Kalamazoo were feeling the effects of rapid growth, urban development, and increased reliance on the automobile. West Michigan Avenue had become a major city and county artery while the University campus had become heavily developed on both sides of the street. Vehicle and pedestrian mingling was unavoidable and often dangerous; vehicle congestion and poor traffic circulation in and around the campus were headaches as well - quite literally accidents waiting to happen.
The 1970 Campus Development Plan spelled out a solution in which West Michigan Avenue, between the Student Services Building (Faunce) and the University Student Center (Bernhard Center), would be ceded to the University and closed to traffic. Howard Street would be extended from Stadium Drive to West Main Street to provide an alternative through-route for city traffic. By 1975 the essential components of this plan had been constructed, although it would take many more years to blur or erase the former streetscape in the center of the campus.
The late 60s and early 70s were highlighted by efforts to improve the overall campus aesthetics and landscaping, and to develop a more formal and convenient pedestrian circulation system. Along with planning for the Howard Street extension were plans to close off the northern end of Vande Giessen Road and create a "pedestrian parkway" connecting West Michigan Avenue and the University (Miller) Auditorium. The parkway was dedicated the "Dorothy Upjohn Dalton Promenade". In addition, new "Instructional Facilities" (the Knauss-Dunbar-Friedmann complex) were planned that would further define the Promenade.
The North Valley Road, Pond, and residence halls were renamed after John Goldsworth, Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds during the initial development of West Campus. Goldsworth Pond and Valley were the object of a beautification campaign running from 1966 through 1969. Activities included goldfish kills and duck removals; the introduction of mute swans, blue gills and bass; planting 500 pine trees; and construction of the Alumni Shelter.
Increased demand for apartment housing led to the construction of the Stadium Drive Apartments on the corner of Howard St. and Stadium Dr. The apartments, designed by local photographer and architect Norman F. Carver, Jr., reference Italian hilltowns.
In 1974 the new "Recreation Building" - the Lawson Ice Arena and Gable Natatorium - was completed. This further expanded the campus south of Howard St. and kept all recreational and athletic facilities on or near Stadium Dr., easily accessible to the community.