First Plan 1905
The first planning document for The University of Iowa was a narrative report prepared in April 1905, by the Olmstead
Brothers, Brookline, Massachusetts. No maps were referenced or found that graphically portray this plan. Old Capitol and
Schaeffer Hall are the only buildings remaining on what is now called the Pentacrest that were present at the time of the
Comprehensive Plan 1965
The first contemporary plan was prepared in 1965. The Plan was prepared in three reports with an additional married
student housing report issued a year later. The 1965 plan differed from the 1905 plan in that it included maps and
drawings that showed buildings, streets, parking areas, etc., in detail. Enrollment projections were used as a basis to
predict facility requirements that in turn predicted buildings, parking and other needs. Overall enrollment projections
were close, but distribution assumptions proved to be incorrect. A three-fold growth of The University of Iowa Hospital
and Clinics and a great increase in health sciences research space were not anticipated.
Framework Plan 1972
The 1965 plan was updated in 1972 to respond to immediate planning needs not addressed in the 1965 plan. Based on failure
to accurately predict future growth and space needs, the 1972 effort recommended the University not develop another
traditional campus plan such as the 1965 Plan. It instead was recommended that it would be better to develop a planning
process that would achieve the objectives of traditional planning, but would be flexible enough to respond to change and
be easily updated. The new planning approach was based upon the concept that it is possible to develop a framework within
which planning could occur. The framework provides as much overall guidance to development as possible on broad issues
such as streets, parking, utilities, green spaces, and building locations, while allowing incremental decisions to be made
within the framework as new development issues emerge.
Framework Plan Update 1978
In 1978 the Lindberg Task Force, with assistance from a consultant, prepared a planning update that incorporated a number
of studies and concepts developed after the 1972 plan. The "Lindberg Report" established planning goals and objectives in
each of the planning functional elements of land use, circulation, and open space. The campus also was divided into seven
functional areas, based on similar existing building functions and land uses that form cohesive planning sub-units. This
plan introduced the implementation strategy that the entire functional area encompassing a building site is to be
considered when a new building is designed for location within the functional area. In the ensuing twelve years, the
"Lindberg Report" continued to be an effective document guiding campus development and providing much of the foundation
for the 1990 update.
1989 Strategic Plan
The University's strategic plan "Achieving Distinction" was completed in 1989 and was written as a flexible document that
encouraged departments, programs, colleges, and administrative units to work within an integrated whole. Each unit
subsequently developed its own strategic plan as a complement to the University-level plan. The plan established
institutional mission, goals, objectives, and strategies. Embodied in the plan are goals, objectives and strategies that
address the physical environment by providing focus on rebuilding and improving the physical infrastructure. The plan
gives priority to classroom and laboratory facilities and computer workstations and networking of computer capabilities
are mentioned specifically. The plan also recommended that to remedy substantial erosion of physical infrastructure over
the prior ten years, more attention must be directed to increasing classroom availability and improving research and
Campus Planning Framework 1990
In 1990, the Campus Planning Framework continued and strengthened the format begun in 1972. The 1990 Plan flowed from the
1990 Strategic Plan and provided a framework for improving infrastructure while allowing flexibility to respond to needs
as they emerge from funding alternatives suggested by the Strategic Plan. The planning framework acknowledged existence
of primary elements such as buildings, roads, parking facilities, utilities, natural features, and historical
considerations. While it suggested alterations to some elements, it recognized that a specific development proposal must
respond to the established framework of primary elements. The framework approach to campus planning provided assurance
that incremental decisions would be consistent with long-term goals and planning principles.
The Campus Planning Committee plays a major role in assuring incremental decisions are consistent with the planning
framework through review of all plan updates and changes. When specific detailed plans are proposed for a project, they
are reviewed by the Campus Planning Committee as well.
Campus Master Plan Status 1995
The 1995 Report to the State Board of Regents provided a review of campus planning over time and outlined what had
occurred since the 1990 Campus Planning Framework. Review of development since the 1990 plan included land acquisition
and leased property, site and circulation/parking improvements, building sites utilized, and utility improvements. The
review also included discussion of the Strategic Plan, Campus Planning Framework, enrollment and the Five-Year Capital
Plan, and area studies either underway or proposed.
A Strategic Plan for the University 1996
The 1996 Report to the Board of Regents reaffirmed the mission and goals set forth in the 1995 Strategic Plan,
Achieving Distinction 2000; presented 1996 additions to the plan: Core Values, Indicators of Progress, and
Strategic Focus Areas; and highlighted recent progress toward institutional goals.
Iowa City and The University of Iowa Campus
The following is an abbreviated history of Iowa City and The University of Iowa campus with an emphasis on the beginnings
of both. Complete history information can be found in several documents such as A Pictorial History of The University
of Iowa, John C. Gerber, University of Iowa Press, Iowa City, Iowa, 1988.
||First settlers arrive in
what will be Johnson County.
||US Government acquires 1,250,000 acres that includes most of what is now Johnson
County and the county is organized by an act of the Wisconsin Territorial Legislature.
||The Territory of Iowa is established by Congress. The first territorial
legislature convenes in Burlington, Iowa (the temporary capital) and representatives from several territorial counties are
commissioned to determine a site for a permanent state capital in Johnson County (chosen because it was centered in what
was then defined as the Iowa Territory).
||The permanent site for the Iowa capital is selected in Iowa City. The first plat
of the city (all east of the river) shows a four block "Capitol Square" set aside for the capitol building, parks and
market spaces set within a grid of residential lots, a "Promenade" space set along the Iowa River, a "Quarry" northwest of
Church and Dubuque Streets, and "Dillon's Island" a linear island within the river (approximately where the Iowa Advanced
Technology Lab building is today). See the Plat Map in the Appendix. About twenty families have settled within the
limits of Iowa City.
||The cornerstone for the new capitol building is set on July 4. Limestone from the
North Street Quarry northwest of the Clinton and Church intersection) is used to top the capitol's second story windows.
Several private schools are established near the capitol. The house at 119 W. Park Road (today occupied by The University
of Iowa Press) is built.
||The Capitol building has a roof and four rooms are ready. Mechanics Academy, a two
story brick building at Iowa Avenue and Linn Street (present location of Seashore Hall) is constructed. It is considered
the "cradle of the university" and served as the first University Hospital.
||Iowa becomes a state.
||The First General Assembly of the State of Iowa authorizes a state university and
The University of Iowa is founded on February 25, although the university does not officially open its doors until
September 1855. The population of Iowa is a widely scattered 100,000.
||Iowa City is incorporated April 6. The Iowa population is 250,000.
||The University of Iowa opens to students with a two-semester academic year of forty
weeks. Iowa City population is approximately 4,000. The General Assembly votes to move the capital to Des Moines.
||The state constitution stipulates that Des Moines should be the permanent capital
and the actual move takes place in November. The unfinished capitol building in Iowa City is transferred to the
||The first university building, except for the Capitol, is South Hall, built south
of the Capitol building.
||The University of Iowa hires its first female professor, Phoebe W. Sudlow.
||The first streets in Iowa City are paved with bricks including Clinton Street from
Jefferson to Burlington.
||The Mechanics Academy is torn down and a larger University Hospital (now part of
Seashore Hall) consisting of four units on Iowa Avenue between Linn and Gilbert Streets, is begun (completed in 1914).
||The University of Iowa joins the Big Ten.
||Johnson County Courthouse is built.
||The first Iowa City library, built with Andrew Carnegie funds, is erected at Linn
and College Streets.
||Interurban railroad begins hourly service between Iowa City and Cedar Rapids.
||President's residence built at Clinton and Church.
||University Hospital moves to its current site.
||Paul Engle takes over the Writers' Workshop.
||Iowa City opens its Civic Center.
||Hancher Auditorium opens.
||Carver-Hawkeye Arena opens.
||The University of Iowa Arboretum is moved to its present site along the Iowa River
from its previous location along the hillside north of the Chemistry Building.