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Coffman Memorial Union

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Identification

Coffman Memorial Union
220761

Map

Structure in General

high-rise building
existing [completed]
concrete
brick
applied masonry
brown
art deco

Usages

university

Facts

  • Coffman Memorial Union sits prominently at the south end of the Northrop Mall, on the western edge of the East Bank campus.
  • It was named for University President Lotus Delta Coffman (1920-1938), who suggested the construction of a large central Union building.
  • The building was constructed primarily from funds raised from student fees and government grants.
  • Coffman provided a social center for the large campus, with multiple ballrooms, a bowling alley, billiards, a game room, and separate men's and women's lounges.
  • By the early 1970s, the union was overcrowded and the first major renovation was proposed.
  • Many of the building's streamline moderne features were removed in the 1974-1976 renovation, prompting serious criticism by architectural historians.
  • The renovation increased the building's ability to serve a growing student body, which had gone from 22,000 to 42,000 in the 35 years since it was originally constructed.
  • A second renovation took place from 2001-2003, which served to increase Coffman's capacity for a student body then well over 50,000.
  • A vast basement level was added, including the installation of a new central campus bookstore, central post office, full-service bank, and travel agency.
  • The south facade was opened up with floor-to-ceiling windows, providing panoramic views of the new Riverbend Commons, the East River Flats Park, and the Missississippi River.
  • It is connected by underground passage to Yudof Hall, Nils Hasselmo Hall and the Mayo Memorial Building.

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More Information

Location

300 Washington Avenue SE
301 Delaware Street SE
300 Washington Avenue SE
55455
U of M
University
Minneapolis
Minnesota
U.S.A.

Technical Data

115.25 ft
7
1939
1940
2003

Involved Companies


Cass Gilbert

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2003


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Features & Amenities

  • Pedway access is available
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