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Making Way for LeBow

With the demolition of Matheson Hall complete, construction of the new home of the LeBow College of Business is set to begin.

LeBow rendering

Construction of the new home of the LeBow College of Business will soon begin, as crews have completed the demolition of Matheson Hall at 33rd and Market Streets. In its place will rise a 12-story, 177,500 square-foot business center at the heart of the Drexel University campus at the intersection of Woodland Walk and Market Street, where it forms a gateway to the University and a backdrop to the historic statue of A.J. Drexel. The building's tower will mark the LeBow College and Drexel campus from all directions, while the open, glassy Market Street façade will showcase the College's student activities to passersby.

Contractor Keating Building Corp. is overseeing construction of the building, which was designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects and Voith & Mactavish Architects. The building's warm masonry and glass exterior reflect the emerging vocabulary of the next generation of Drexel buildings. Sophisticated solar shading devices allow maximum transparency between the inside and outside while supporting the building's high environmental aspirations.

The building's organization unites the school's various constituencies around a five-story-high atrium ringed by classrooms, student lounges, events spaces, and offices. The third floor houses the Baiada Center for Entrepreneurship. The atrium is immediately accessible from main entrances at the three corners of the building. An open stair within the atrium leads to a 300-seat auditorium and 100-seat lecture hall one floor below and to a divisible multipurpose room and additional classrooms above. The building's upper floors contain faculty offices interspersed with seminar rooms and group study rooms. The top floor houses the Dean's suite and a boardroom and conference suite that opens to east- and west-facing terraces.

The $92 million project was made possible thanks to a $45 million commitment from the College's namesake, Bennett S. LeBow. His gift is the largest in Drexel's history. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has also provided financial assistance for the project.

The building continues Drexel's commitment to sustainable building practices. It will feature an integrated green roof, high-efficiency mechanical equipment, low-flow plumbing fixtures, and occupancy and daylight sensors to control artificial lighting. Green Globes certification is anticipated.

According to Keating President Brad Statler, the next steps for the project are setting foundations for the building (early 2012), building the steel skeleton (May 2012), enclosing or “cladding" the steel structure (completed by fall 2012), and completing finishes, systems, and installing equipment (late 2012 through fall 2013). The building is expected to be completed by the end of 2013 and occupied in the spring of 2014.

Click here to watch a 90-second video recapping the four-week demolition of Matheson Hall. For more details on the project, visit buildinglebow.com.