Core Values

   Land Use

   Land Use
   Open Space

   Pedestrian-oriented Campus
   Vehicle System
   Parking Standards
   Drop-Off/Short Term Parking
   Open Space System
   Pedestrian/Vehicle Conflicts
   Campus Entrances
   Visual Corridors
   Potential Building Sites
   Design Guidelines/
      Pre-Design Checklist
   Replace Floor Area Ratio
   Preserve and Protect National
      Register of Historic Places
         Buildings, and Sites
   Identify, Preserve & Protect
      Other Historic Buildings & Sites
   Maintenance Plan
   Campus Statistics
   Hawkins Drive Improvement
   West Campus Loop Road
   Functional Area Recommendations
      Old Capitol
      University Services
      East Residence Halls
      Iowa Center for the Arts and
         the International Center
      Health Sciences/Hospital
      West Residence Halls
      South Melrose
      Far West
      Oakdale Campus
   East, West, & Far West Campus

   The Role of the Campus Planning
   The Role of the Campus Planning
      Committee in the Planning
   The Process For Updating the
      Framework Plan
   The Proposal or Project Review
   Project Implementation

   Campus Boundries
   Roads, Streets, & Highways
   Open Space & Green Space

   UI Payroll Report - Sept. 1997
   Lot/Ramp Space Inventory-
      Oct. 1997
   Meter Inventory - Oct. 1997
   Service Vehicle Zones -
      East Campus
   Service Vehicle Zones -
      West Campus
   Original Plat of Iowa City
   Workshops - Scheduled by
      Functional Area or
   Workshops - Summary of
      Responses By Workshop
   Workshops - Summary of

Existing Conditions

Planning for the future requires an understanding of the past (history) and an awareness of current conditions. Numerous documents, drawings, and studies have recorded existing physical conditions and defined plans for the campus.

Campus Boundries
The information contained in this Framework update concentrates on the Main Campus (generally defined as the East and West Campus areas surrounding the Iowa River) but includes information on the "Far West Campus" (generally defined as that area west of Mormon Trek Boulevard that includes Hawkeye Court and Hawkeye Drive apartments) and the Oakdale Campus. It should be noted that descriptions of "Campus" vary among previous documents. Terms such as Campus, Main Campus, Central Campus, West Campus, Far West Campus and others often are used indiscriminately to describe various portions of University owned land, sometimes intermingling contradictory terms and descriptions within a single document. These descriptions may or may not include Finkbine Golf Course, Lower Finkbine Sports Complex, Hawkeye housing, leased farmland, and other property generally contiguous or nearby the Main Campus area. Land Ownership,
Map 17, delineates the Oakdale Campus and the "Main Campus" comprised of the East Campus, West Campus, & Far West Campus. (This is similar to the Figure E -- Land Ownership map in the 1990 Campus Planning Framework that described the Oakdale Campus and the Main & West Campus areas.) Map 18 shows the Main Campus area with descriptive labels for the Far West, West, and East Campuses.

University owned land* as shown in the 1990 Framework document and updated with current information from the Facilities Services Group (FSG) are as follows:

 Location Acres Acres
 East Campus 96.5   
 West Campus 654.3   
 East/West Campus Total   750.8 
 Far West Campus Total(west of Mormon Trek   Blvd.)   647.7 
 Research Park 198.0   
 Oakdale Research Campus 250.0   
 Undeveloped (west of Highway 965) 80.5   
 Oakdale Campus Total   528.5 
 TOTAL   1927.0 

In addition, there are approximately 10 acres on the Consolidated Business Services Building site on south Riverside Drive southeast of the Iowa City Municipal Airport.

    *This land is owned by the State Board of Regents for the use and benefit of the University of Iowa. The land will be referred to as University land for purposes of convenience.

Roads, Streets, and Highways
Highways and streets outside the campus provide access to the campus for motorized and human powered vehicles and sometimes for pedestrians when no sidewalks are available or are inconveniently located. Likewise, campus streets provide access to campus buildings and parking facilities, routes for busses, and passage through campus for motorized and human powered vehicles and pedestrians. Vehicular circulation routes provide access, introduce noise and air pollution, divide areas of campus that should not be divided, conflict with pedestrian movement, and are a strong determinant of campus form and organization.

It has been a major objective of campus planning for twenty-five years to limit unnecessary intrusions of vehicular traffic into the campus. This objective has been characterized as the "Pedestrian-oriented Campus." While some would prefer an automobile-free campus, this is an unreachable objective. A more reasonable objective is a campus where motorized vehicles are given "necessary but limited access." Where possible, motorized vehicular access should be secondary to and not interfere with pedestrian movements.

Existing street patterns are different on the East Campus and West Campus. Streets east of the Iowa River follow traditional patterns established by the grid of downtown Iowa City. Streets, alleys, parking areas, and building orientation and layout follow a north-south/east-west pattern. Many campus streets are extensions of the Iowa City grid and are continuations of the city circulation system. This means the streets also introduce non-campus traffic into the campus environment, create traffic conflicts and congestion, but also create opportunities for showcasing the campus. The city controls use and planning of most East Campus streets (See Map 3).

West of the river, streets, buildings, and parking areas are less grid oriented. Much of the West Campus is organized around a "loop road" system although some streets and buildings are laid out on a grid. Major motorized vehicle routes follow a loop consisting of Newton Road, a section of US Highway 6, Hawkins Road, a portion of Melrose Avenue, and Riverside Drive with small connections between some of the loop segments and connections from the loop to adjoining campus and Iowa City streets. The Highway 6 section intersects with Hawkins Drive and has east-bound only access to the one-way segment of Newton Road north of Carver Hawkeye. Non-campus traffic does not use much of this loop system except for Highway 6-Riverside Drive, and Melrose Avenue. Most parking areas are accessed from the loop system as are public oriented facilities such as Carver-Hawkeye, Kinnick Stadium, and various University Hospital structures.

Except for Highway 6-Riverside Drive, Melrose Avenue, and South Grand from Grand Avenue to Melrose, streets within the West Campus are controlled by the University. University control and minimal non-campus traffic means the West Campus road system has opportunities for change that can reduce vehicles in the core area, allow consolidation of pedestrian systems and maintain service and emergency access. Revisions to segments of the loop system that will reduce vehicular traffic conflicts with pedestrians are shown in a number of master plans including Health Sciences Campus Plan and the Residence Services West Campus Master Plan.

Roads in the Far West Campus include Mormon Trek Boulevard, Hawkeye Park Road, Hawkeye Drive, Hawkeye Court, Creekside Drive, and Melrose Avenue on the south edge. All streets, except for Melrose, are University-owned. Internal drives and parking areas are within the apartment complexes (See Map 4).

Roads within the Oakdale Research Campus south of Oakdale Boulevard include Oakdale Boulevard, NE Oakdale Road, and drives within the campus. Highway 965 connects to Interstate-80, separates an undeveloped parcel from the main Oakdale Campus, and extends north to the community of North Liberty.

Open Space & Green Space
An important element of any physical environment is open space. A simple definition of open space can be stated as any area not occupied by structures. Open space by this definition includes lawns, wooded areas, small niches between buildings, sidewalks, pedestrian malls, athletic fields, hard surface court game areas, and even parking lots. This inclusive definition separates Open Space from Green Space. Green space is more traditionally thought of as lawns, wooded areas, "natural areas," and other vegetation related spaces. Also included are pedestrian-oriented areas including courtyards, pedestrian malls, and other pedestrian corridors.

It is important to identify those spaces available to the general campus population that provide links between structures or areas, provide settings for other elements, create buffers or oasis between or within elements of the urban fabric, or otherwise provide green alternatives to buildings. It also is important to identify appropriate amounts of green space, in appropriate locations, to be preserved and protected to ensure the long-range needs of the campus are met and ensure that these spaces are not sacrificed to short-range considerations or other competing needs. This includes identifying potential green spaces within future building sites that currently are parking lots. Open spaces are not simply future building sites. They are integral components of a campus and have inherent attributes that contribute to the quality and fabric of the University and should be treasured and treated with the same respect as any structure.

The Pentacrest is the most notable green space on campus. In addition to its historic importance, it serves as the intellectual, spiritual, and physical center of the campus. The entrance to the Pentacrest at the Iowa Avenue/Clinton Avenue intersection is a traditional pedestrian and visual entrance to campus. The five buildings, walks, steps, plazas, lawn, slopes, and vegetation all are integral parts of the Pentacrest.

The campus also has several "natural" features, the most important being the Iowa River. The river physically divides as well as unifies the East and West Campus areas. It is the dividing line between the urban, grid oriented East Campus and the loop road oriented West Campus. It is the unifying common thread through the campus visible from multiple campus sites and buildings, accessible from pedestrian walks along its banks into the campus, and linked to away-from-the-river campus areas through ravines and visual corridors. It is a natural organizing amenity and "backbone" for the campus green space system. Potential pedestrian-oriented development, such as the River Terrace at the Iowa Memorial Union and the Iowa River Garden near the Music Building, will strengthen connections between the river and other campus facilities.

Other natural areas are river related as well. They include the exposed limestone and tree covered bluffs below the President's Residence along the east bank and below the International Center, Nursing Building, and Boyd Law Building on the west bank. The area below the International Center also includes a small spring-fed pond at the Hutchinson Quarry. Two wooded ravines extend west from the river. The northern ravine (Quad Ravine) is a pedestrian connection from the Quadrangle Residence area to the Iowa Avenue bridge and pedestrian overpass. The southern ravine below Boyd Law building is a wooded resource to be protected in the short-term and potentially developed as a pedestrian connection in the long-term. A smaller green area is the triangular space between Riverside Drive and the river and between Iowa Avenue and the CRANDIC railroad tracks.

The 20 acre wooded hilltop west of Carver-Hawkeye and east of the Hawkins Drive campus entrance contains large mature Oaks and Hickories. Prairie remnants have been identified near the south edge of the wooded hilltop. The two wooded ravines and the hilltop are the major wooded environments remaining on the West Campus. The hilltop, like the ravines, and tree covered limestone cliffs merit preservation and protection as remnant wooded sites on the West Campus.

South of the Finkbine Commuter Parking Lot is another large wooded area that should be preserved. West of Hawkins Drive and south of US Highway 6 are athletic fields and open areas. Within the open area near Hawkins Drive is a large spoil area where excess soil from construction of Carver-Hawkeye was piled, smoothed and planted with hybrid honeylocusts, crabs, and other non-native trees and shrubs. A degraded wetland area with cattails and woody vegetation is along the south edge of the athletic fields and there is a pedestrian/bicycle trail adjoining the wetland area that connects Hawkeye Court housing with the West Campus. A few prairie remnants have been identified south of the trail along the slope below the railroad tracks (See Map 19). Another large undeveloped wooded area that should be preserved is along Clear Creek northwest of Hawkeye Court Apartments.

Some green spaces are oriented to active recreation. Intercollegiate facilities such as Kinnick Field and the nearby baseball field are open spaces but are enclosed by structures and inaccessible to the general campus population. Baseball and soccer fields adjoining Highway 6 west of Hawkins Drive are also active recreation oriented but are open to view. Finkbine Golf Course is south of the Iowa Interstate Railroad.

On the East Campus, there are few open green areas beyond the boundaries of the Pentacrest. Perhaps the most important remaining green space on campus is Hubbard Park south of the Iowa Memorial Union. This is the only relatively flat open play area east of the Iowa River and it traditionally has been used for everything from formal-organized events to informal and impromptu activities. While at times Hubbard Park has been coveted as a potential building site, most have seen the importance of protecting and preserving this rare east-of-the-river open space for events and activities and for maintaining historic open space connections between the Pentacrest and the Iowa River.

Other green spaces on the East and West Campus areas include open lawns with scattered trees among and between buildings. While these are not natural areas like the wooded hilltop, they do provided outdoor green spaces that help define the campus environment. Others, like the area northeast of Hancher and the area east of Myrtle Avenue parking are currently open spaces but have been identified as potential building sites.

Pedestrian walks and malls are also part of the University campus open space system. Walks that typically are wider than traditional sidewalks, usually not aligned along streets, and may have pedestrian related site amenities such as benches, trash receptacles, and pedestrian scale lighting are important components of a pedestrian-oriented open space system. These walks combine with pedestrian malls such as the Cleary Walkway form the basis for a Pedestrian-oriented Campus.

The Far West Campus is primarily open space at this time with scattered pockets of development. That includes open areas between Hawkeye Court and Hawkeye Drive Apartments, and the flood plain area along Clear Creek. However, a new athletic complex as identified in the Long Range Athletic Facilities Master Plan is currently in the preliminary design phase. Oakdale too is primarily open space at present.

The University of Iowa campus has almost 12,000 parking spaces according to information from the Parking and Transportation Department. The Department provides access to the campus through parking facilities, and through "an intra-campus transit operation (CAMBUS), vanpool program, carpool matching program, and support of a growing community of bicyclists." A recent Lot/Ramp Meter, and Service Vehicle Zones inventory from the Department of Parking and Transportation documents the following numbers: (See the Lot/Ramp Space Inventory, Meter Inventory, and Service Vehicle Zones for East & West Campus in the Appendix for details)

 Lot/Ramp #Spaces    Meters #Spaces
  Reserved 3758      Student 236 
  Commuter 2288      Public* 643 
  Storage 857      Hospital/Visitor 124 
  Ramp/Public 2705      Sub-Total 1003 
  Ramp/Faculty/Staff 869      Lot 21 Meters* -114 
  Student 204      Sub-Total 889 
  Sub-Total 10681       

 Service Vehicle #Spaces
  Service Parking 174 
  Sub-Total 174 

(*114 of the meter spaces are public spaces during the day already counted in Lot/Ramp Inventory of spaces)

Total Lot/Ramp + Meters + Service Vehicle = 11,744

This compares to the numbers shown in the 1990 Framework Plan that divided parking into Student, Faculty/Staff and Visitor spaces and updated numbers for 1998.

 1990    1998
  Students 1915      Students 1297 
  Faculty/Staff 5800      Faculty/Staff 6915 
  Visitors 2916      Visitors 3358 
  1990 TOTAL 10,631      1998 TOTAL 11,570 

Both the 1990 and 1998 numbers show Faculty/Staff parking spaces outnumber the combined spaces allocated for Student and Visitors and indicate that parking spaces are increasing (See Maps 5 & 6).

As noted in information from the Parking and Transportation Department, it is neither possible nor desirable to meet all the access needs of students, faculty, or staff through parking facilities due to limited land resources, other access options, and the desire to develop and maintain a pedestrian-oriented campus. The pedestrian-oriented campus concept suggests that parking facilities be located on the campus periphery so intrusion of cars into the campus core is minimized. This has implications for pedestrian routes, CAMBUS services, and other connections from peripheral lots to campus destinations. Revisions to several parking areas are shown on a number of master plans including Health Sciences Campus Plan, Iowa River Corridor Master Landscape Plan, and the Residence Services West Campus Master Plan. Two parking areas noted in the 1990 Framework as inappropriately located, the large parking area west of the library and the parking lot north of the Quadrangle Residence Hall, are addressed in the Library Master Plan and the Residence Services Plan.

The campus bus system, CAMBUS, is an integral part of the University transportation system. It provides intra-campus transportation for students, faculty, staff, and general public. There is no daily fee to ride CAMBUS as the system is paid for through student fees, state and federal transit funds, parking revenue, and other sources. CAMBUS routes also serve the Oakdale Campus, Mayflower Residence Hall, and Hawkeye Court student family housing areas and provide connections to the East and West Campus facilities. CAMBUS statistics include:

CAMBUS reduces the number of cars on campus by connecting remote student residences and remote parking areas to the campus. The system aids the pedestrian-oriented campus concept by supporting parking facilities on the periphery of campus so fewer cars intrude into the campus core.

The University of Iowa East Campus has over eighty feet of topographic change from a high point of elevation 720+ near the President's Residence to a low of less than 640 along the Iowa River. The Pentacrest is at elevation 698, about twenty feet below the President's Residence, and drops almost fifty feet to 650 near the Memorial Union.

High points on the West Campus include the 20 acre wooded hilltop west of Carver-Hawkeye at elevation 730+ (eighty feet above the Hawkins Drive intersection with Highway 6) and Finkbine Golf Course at elevation 780 along the south boundary (with 80 feet of elevation change down to 680 in the northwest corner of the course). Elevation 725 is near the Dental Science Building and east of Kinnick Stadium. Westlawn, the Nursing Building, and Boyd Law Center are at elevation 720 and Riverside drive is sixty to seventy feet below those buildings.

The Far West Campus ranges from a high point above elevation 770 west of the Hawkeye Drive Apartments to a low elevation of approximately 650 along Clear Creek. Within the Oakdale Campus elevations range from 800'+ along Highway-965 and Oakdale Boulevard falling to less than 700 along the south edge of the campus.

Elevation numbers express the heights of different areas, slope defines the rate of elevation change between areas. Slope is a measure of vertical elevation change over a specified horizontal distance, expressed as a percentage. For instance, five feet of elevation change over 100' of horizontal distance equals 5% slope (5/100=0.05). Slope has an impact on many aspects of site development including pedestrian movement (e.g., meeting ADA accessibility requirements), drainage and erosion potential, view corridors, and vegetation. Most of the East and West campuses are at 5% slope or less with slopes of over 16% occurring in certain key locations such as areas adjoining Riverside Drive, and east of the Iowa River along Madison Avenue from near the Lindquist Center to north of North Hall, and along the wooded area near the Hawkins Drive/Highway 6 intersection (See Map

Topography and slope are related to drainage. The direction and rate of elevation change across a site help determine drainage patterns. The East Campus drains from the President's House, Pentacrest, and Court Street area west to the Iowa River. On the West Campus, surface storm water from Hancher, International Center, Bowen Science, and the football stadium drain east to the Iowa River. Storm water from Dental Science and the Recreation Building drains northwest to the Iowa River. Drainage between Dental Science, Kinnick Stadium, and the Medical Education Building flows northeast and then east to the river.

Identifying the surface soil type in an area gives an indication of surface drainage, erosion hazard, and storm water infiltration potential. It also indicates parent material (the unconsolidated organic and mineral material from which soil forms), soil origin (glacial deposition, alluvial, etc.), and type of plant material (prairie, woodland) under which the soil developed. Parent material is glacial till (derived from glacial deposits) or alluvium (derived from water borne deposits) primarily formed beneath prairie vegetation. Although the soils have been modified or covered extensively on the East Campus and somewhat less on the West, remnants of original soils and soil influences (such as sub-soil drainage) remain on both sides of the river. Soil types also establish a historical reference and can be indicators of potential problems or benefits. There are three soil types on the East and West Campus (See Map

 Soil Type Bertrand Silt Loam  Downs Silt Loam  Fayette Silt Loam
 Origin Alluvium Loess Loess
 General Location Along Major Streams Upland Ridges/Side Slopes Ridges/Side Slopes
 Original Vegetation Deciduous Trees Prairie/Decid. Trees Deciduous Trees
 Drainage Well Well Well
 Permeability Origin  General Location  Original Vegetation
 Erosion Slight Slight Moderate

Bertrand soils are alluvial (sand, silt, and clays deposited on land along streams and rivers), developed beneath deciduous forests, have moderate permeability (ability of soil to allow water to move downward through the soil), have a slight potential for erosion, and are in the flood plain along the Iowa River through campus. Fayette soils are from loess (fine grained material, dominated by silt-sized particles, deposited by wind), also developed beneath a deciduous forest canopy, have moderate permeability, more potential for erosion than the other two soils, and are along the side slopes above the Iowa River flood plain but below the flat ridge tops of the Pentacrest on the East Campus and south of the medical complex and Carver-Hawkeye on the West Campus. Downs and Fayette loams cover much of the golf course. The ridge tops and flat areas above the Iowa River flood plain are Downs soils formed from loess, developed beneath prairie and deciduous woods, with moderate permeability and slight erosion hazard.

Soils within the Far West Campus are similar to those found on the adjoining West Campus. Soils along Clear Creek are similar to the Bertrand silt loam along the Iowa River. Oakdale too, not surprisingly, is extensively covered with the same Fayette loam soils found in other campus areas.

It must be noted that many campus soils have been modified. Some areas, such as the art campus, have extensive areas of fill (early 1950s photographs show wetlands and open water ponds between Riverside Drive and the Iowa River). Original soils in other areas have been modified by development activities with excavations, soil compaction, utility work, buildings, and paving. Soils information, however, is still important for general guidelines, plant material choices, and historical reference and because there are large areas of original soils on the Far West Campus and Oakdale, pockets of original soils throughout the West Campus, and isolated corners of original soil on the East Campus.

Last Updated: Thursday, January 28, 1999
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