Life After Dark

Now more than ever, Temple’s vibrant residential campus is also buzzing when the sun goes down.

Photography By: 
Ryan S. Brandenberg, CLA ’14, and Joseph V. Labolito
Story by: 
Brandon Lausch, SMC ’06
At 247,000 square feet, the Science Education and Research Center—opened in 2014—is one of the largest buildings devoted exclusively to scientific research in the Philadelphia region. Students and faculty work side by side into the evenings using high-tech equipment, such as clean rooms and a low-vibration scanning tunneling microscope, in the seven-story structure’s 52 research labs; 16 teaching labs; and open, collaborative spaces.
Students edit multimedia recordings in the TECH Center, complete laboratory experiments in the new Science Education and Research Center, blow glass in the Tyler School of Art, scale the rock-climbing wall in Pearson and McGonigle Halls, enjoy open-mic nights in Saxbys coffee shop, and compete in informal glow-in-the-dark hula hoop competitions at the Bell Tower.
Sounds like a typical day at Temple. What’s different is that it’s all happening long after dark.
The hours after sunset offer an intimate look at student life at Temple and provide spectacular views of the many recent changes to facilities that range from the stunningly large to the beautifully subtle. 
  • Students work around the clock in the Architecture Building. Opened in 2012, the LEED-certified building features state-of-the-art labs and studios for digital and analog fabrication, facilities management, and historic preservation.
  • Philadelphia’s college students participated in Battle on Broad, a dance competition held in the Temple Performing Arts Center. Sponsored by Temple Student Government, the fundraising event united the local dance community in support of the Lucy Fund for cancer research.
  • Students on the go can grab a quick bite to eat or a cup of coffee at the food pad located along 12th Street next to the TECH Center.
  • ell-lit walkways make navigating at night easier for students traveling to and from evening classes campuswide.
  • Pearson Pool became the site of excitement, competition and mayhem during a live-action Battleship tournament, sponsored by Campus Recreation.
  • A friendly game of table tennis helps students unwind in Pearson and McGonigle Halls, where renovations including a 140,000-square-foot addition that contains a climbing wall, fitness and recreation facilities, a juice and smoothie bar, a new men’s locker room, the Nancy and Donald Resnick Academic Support Center, and practice courts for men’s and women’s basketball were completed in 2012.
Most noticeable is the empty space where Barton Hall once stood. That’ll soon be home to a state-of the-art $170 million library. 
Smaller details like modern lighting treatments, paving and signage make navigating campus easier day and night.
The upgrades touch practically every corner of campus. Academic spaces, such as Wachman Hall and the College of Engineering, are being refreshed with additional classrooms and more pronounced entranceways, while paths and walkways are being beautified with updated landscaping and more green space. 
Changes aren’t only evident on Main Campus. The East Park Canoe House on Kelly Drive is being historically restored for the men’s crew and women’s rowing teams. Temple is also moving forward with plans to bring several sports closer to Main Campus. Intercollegiate field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, and track and field will find new homes at the former William Penn High School site two blocks south of Morgan Hall, as will a number of intramural and club sports. And preliminary discussions continue for a potential on-campus football stadium. Temple’s electric, eclectic life after dark proves it’s a university on the move. 
To learn more about Temple’s campus development plan, visit