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Bascom Hill staircase to open in October; mall to follow soon

September 24, 2014

Photo: Construction of staircase leading up Bascom Hill

Construction workers install stone facing on the sides of a new stairway at the base of Bascom Hill. The stairway leads to a raised pedestrian crosswalk at North Park Street and State Street Mall, also under construction in the foreground.


After four months of construction, the State Street Mall and related Bascom Hill staircase projects are nearing an October finish line.

The new staircase, which merges the north and south sidewalks into one grand entryway, awaits completion of stone facing on its retaining wall, installation of handrails and some final landscape work, says Gary Brown, director of campus planning and architecture. He expects this to be finished around October 20.

The staircase is oriented toward the south side of the hill rather than the center because Bascom Hill and State Street do not align perfectly, Brown says. The new stairs are meant to be a transition point between these two distinct features of campus and are centered on State Street looking west toward the hill.

The work on State Street, extending from North Park Street to North Lake Street, will take a bit longer to complete, estimated for the end of October. Workers still need to pour concrete and finish several large planters in this phase of the project.

Meanwhile, the City of Madison is finalizing a sculpture to be placed just east of the intersection of State Street and East Campus Mall. The metal structure will depict a large leaf and include LED lighting.

Some of the final landscaping will continue into November and next spring based on planting cycles, Brown says.

—Jim Dayton