University of Pennsylvania George A. Weiss Weight Pavilion

Philadelphia, PA
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The scope of work included infilling the northern arcade on the ground level, the mezzanine floor above, and an excavated area on the lower level of this iconic structure listed on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places, to accommodate a mixed-use athletic training and fitness center. The Pavilion features an 18,600 SF intercollegiate strength and conditioning center; the Robert A. Fox Fitness Center, a two-story space for general University use; retail space; and more than 8,000 SF for future athletic development. The work included relocation of existing bathrooms, new electrical distribution, selective demolition, structural modifications and expansion of existing mezzanine floor, interior and exterior historic masonry cleaning and restoration, new HVAC systems, and a new entry plaza on the lower level.

The project team faced multiple challenges on this project due to this historic, almost century-old building being revised with many “band-aids” along the way, including the temporary support of four major columns in order to lower the existing connecting pile caps to below the new floor elevation, and exploratory investigations and redesign of the existing underground field drainage systems, requiring extensions through the construction area to the main trench. There was also added scope to the project that included the replacement and relocation of the deteriorated main electrical service which was servicing three buildings, including the famous Palestra gymnasium. This top training facility is the first ever project of this type to receive a LEED Gold Certification.

LEED Sustainability
University of Pennsylvania
Crawford Architects
52,000 SF
Completion Date
April 2010
2012 Preservation Grand Jury Award: Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia
2012 Historic Preservation, Public/Institutional Construction Award: Preservation Pennsylvania
Photo / Rendering Credit
© Halkin Mason Photography