$25,000,000 For New Westphal Design Center
January 10, 2009 — The Westphal College is honored to have received the largest individual private gift in the history of Drexel University, $25 million, from a most generous and appreciated anonymous donor. With this gift, the University has acquired two buildings that will serve as a new home for the Westphal College's design programs. The buildings, 3501 Market St. and 3401 Filbert St., will house our programs including architecture, interior design, fashion design, design & merchandising, graphic design, a new product design program, as well as exhibition space for art and Drexel's Historic Costume Collection. 3501 Market Street was designed by iconic Philadelphia architect Robert Venturi and boasts a notable Market Street façade.
The two buildings purchased represent 143,000 square feet and are sited on over three acres. This real estate acquisition means a nearly 5% increase in the size of the Drexel's campus and will allow for future University expansion westward on Market Street beyond 35th Street. Additionally, new quarters for some programs in the Performing Arts and Cinema & Television departments will become available in existing college facilities.
Robert Venturi, winner of the Pritzker Prize, designed the Seattle Art Museum, the Sainsbury Wing of the National Gallery in London, Oberlin's Allen Memorial Art Museum, the Provincial Government Center in Toulouse, France, and numerous iconic Philadelphia area buildings. The college has been seeking a new building for many years in order to accommodate increased enrollment and our new academic programs. It is tremendously gratifying that we'll be able to house our outstanding design programs in a noteworthy building designed by an architectural giant.
"Westphal College is at the pinnacle of media arts and design programs in the nation," said the donor, a Drexel Trustee who asked to remain anonymous. "I am pleased to help the College develop a facility that will position it for even greater success." President Papadakis and the University have also accepted a challenge from the donor to raise an additional $30 million to fund outfitting of the buildings and to complete the projects. While the renovations are expected to be finished by the 2010 academic year, we need your help. If you're interested in assisting our fundraising efforts, please contact David Toll, Assistant Vice President, Institutional Advancement, at firstname.lastname@example.org or Dean Allen Sabinson at email@example.com.
Read the The Philadelphia Inquirer coverage of this great news here. Read the Plan Philly coverage here.