Posted December 1, 2014

New café, bookstore and lobby among upgrades at Temple University Center City

Ryan S. Brandenberg
Renovations at TUCC include a brand new Barnes & Noble and a Starbucks with outdoor seating.

Students and faculty at the Temple University Center City (TUCC) campus will be greeted in early 2015 by a new ground-level bookstore and public café at one of Philadelphia’s premier intersections.

The university’s $2.6 million renovation project at 1515 Market St., just west of City Hall, includes two phases. The first, which was completed in August, features an updated canopy, lighting and signage on the building’s exterior, and a new lobby.

“We gave the lobby a complete makeover to make it brighter, taller and more contemporary so that students, faculty and staff would have a significantly improved experience,” said James Templeton, interim assistant vice president of Temple’s Project Delivery Group.

The second phase, a Barnes & Noble bookstore and connected Starbucks café, is scheduled to be completed in early 2015. The main entrance to the café, on the northeast corner of the building, will be open to the public. The café is also expected to include outdoor seating.

These improvements at TUCC are accompanied by repainted corridors and new signage throughout the building, in addition to renovations by the Fox School of Business on the sixth floor that include an updated student lounge, a collaborative learning studio and new breakout rooms for small-group projects.

Temple University Center City Executive Director William Parshall said the improvements to the 50-year-old building, in which Temple is a longtime tenant, represent a commitment to further enhance the university’s competitiveness in attracting adult learners and working professionals.

“We have the best location in Center City, being right across from City Hall and right on top of the transportation hub of the region. We’re right in the middle of it,” Parshall said. “It’s important to project a very professional, modern image, and to reflect an aesthetic that Temple is offering cutting-edge education that’s relevant for adult students and professionals.”

The timing couldn’t have been better. Dilworth Park, on the west apron of City Hall and across from TUCC, reopened to the public in September after extensive renovations. The park now includes a fountain/ice-skating rink and new entrances to underground public transportation, both of which add to the street life near Temple’s Center City campus.

“In many respects, this is an important beginning, but it doesn’t end with the new lobby and café/bookstore,” Parshall said. “Those are great amenities and they set the tone, but we also want to renovate the classrooms, because ultimately that’s what we’re here for, providing faculty with quality instructional space for student learning.”