Wescoe Beach

1445 Jayhawk Boulevard
Lawrence, KS

Submitted by: Hugo Cabrera

The plaza in front of the University of Kansas Humanities building, Wescoe Hall.

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Why It Works

Wescoe Beach is the place where KUís students gather every day to meet with friends, relax, or enjoy the many events that happen there through out the year, from the annual block party to public speaker lectures. Wescoe Hall is known as the ugliest building on campus but Wescoe Beach is the most sociable spot on campus.

What Makes Wescoe Beach a Great Place?

Wescoe Beach handles the flow of pedestrian traffic from and to Wescoe Hall. It has access points from all directions; stair access from Wescoe drive behind Wescoe Hall, Jayhawk blvd runs in the north side, and Budig Hall (which has 3 large auditorium type classrooms) sits on the west side. There is usually a row of bushes that separates the street from the sidewalks around campus. This row of bushes is not present in front of Wescoe Beach connecting it to the street. The materials, reinforced concrete, allow Wescoe Hall to remain transparent with vast empty spaces surrounding it. The emptiness created attracts many to it.

When empty it is very clear to see the ugliness of Wescoe Hall but once classes are in session the space makes a drastic change and becomes the busiest most attractive place to be in. Eight tree pots surround the north and west sides while acting as seats for its visitors. The space is cleaned regularly. The transparency of the space gives it a very safe feeling. During class times, between 7am to 5 pm, Jayhawk blvd is closes to public traffic and the only vehicles that go by are KU buses and service vehicles.

Every day there are hundreds of students that use the space. Students take naps, chat with friends, withdrawal money from an ATM machine, or just relax. Throughout the year student clubs recruit members or host events (block party, free food or drinks, etc.) local businesses will have advertising (hand out fliers, write on the concrete, etc.), public speakers host lectures, at least once will the space be filled with sand and have a volleyball tournament, and during big wins of basketball games it becomes the place to celebrate. Visitors are mostly the students in the university. During rainy or hot days the porch like area under Wescoe Hall provides shelter and the west side acts mostly as an access point to top floor of Wescoe Hall.

People are very friendly and greet one another. There are both groups hanging out and singles just relaxing. It is where you meet your friends after class. Mostly locals visit the space. Visitors of the university pass in front of it during their tours.

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