Announcing New Residential Commons

UChicago Campus

From November, 2012

New Residential Commons

We are thrilled to announce our plans to create a new University residential commons near the core of our campus.

Scheduled to open in 2016, the new state-of-the-art residential commons will significantly improve the quality of undergraduate housing for College students on campus and advance our broader commitment to an unrivaled student experience.

The new residential commons will be constructed on the site of the current Pierce Tower and Dining Commons and North Field, located between Greenwood and University Avenues along 55th Street. To accommodate the project, the current Pierce Tower and Dining Commons will be closed at the end of the 2012-13 academic year in June 2013. North Field will be replaced by a new practice field on 61st Street and Woodlawn Avenue.

We know you share our excitement for this project, and we look forward to creating an even more vibrant University of Chicago community.


This Campus North location is already a vibrant center of campus life, with close proximity to Max Palevsky Residential Commons, Ratner Athletic Center, Henry Crown Field House, Smart Museum and Court Theatre, and the Regenstein and Mansueto Libraries. It is an important gateway site to the University and a key means for connecting the main campus with retail and amenities on nearby 53rd Street and with the wider community.

Pierce House Communities

Pierce has proudly housed University of Chicago students and scholars for more than half a century. Maintaining the unique identities and cultures of Pierce Houses is a key priority as House communities relocate to other existing campus housing facilities. We will be working closely with Pierce residents and other stakeholders in the coming weeks and months to help honor Pierce’s important legacy and ensure a thoughtful relocation for the House communities.

Enhancing the College Experience

Residential life is an integral part of the College experience. Residential programs in the House System and International House provide experiences that substantively enhance student life and development, foster community, and carry the mission of the College outside of the classroom. This residential commons will offer College students and community members a dynamic destination, a lively center of gravity for intellectual, social, and community engagement. This project embodies our commitment to provide a world-class housing and dining experience for all of our undergraduates and to enhance the overall College experience.


Planning for the new residential commons is already underway. This past summer a program committee with College students and other stakeholders began to help shape the residential and dining programs, building on the strong and successful model of the University’s House System. As plans progress, we will continue to engage students and stakeholders across our community, including our partners in the City of Chicago, to help shape this dynamic new center of campus and student life.

About the House System

The House System at the University of Chicago, comprised of 38 unique Houses—communities within a community, provides an immersive residential life experience for undergraduate College students from all four class years. With an average size of 70 residents, each “House” represents a tight-knit community of students, resident faculty masters, and residential staff, who live, relax, study, dine together at House Tables, engage, socialize, and learn from each other. 

UChicagoSocial: Campus and Student Life