UT placed the finishing touches on a new, formal entrance to the school located at University Avenue on Friday.
The concept of the entrance, which was conceived during William Powers Jr.’s presidency at the University, consists of a small patio and a limestone block with the name of the University engraved on it. Companies Dyal and Partners and Bartlett Stine Company collaborated on the project.
Herman Dyal, the founding principal of Dyal and Partners, said the University asked the company to design a formal entrance to the campus. Dyal and Partners and the University collaborated to pick the location because of its historical significance.
“The location is one that makes eminent sense, I think,” Dyal said. “It actually sort of makes a reference to the architect Paul Cret, who developed the University of Texas master plan in 1933, in which he extended the malls and the vistas out in the four cardinal directions. So along the south that’s University Avenue, directly in line with the Capitol building, is a particularly appropriate place.”
Project manager Frauke Bartels said in an email that the new entrance creates another landmark for the campus — one that welcomes students, visitors and passersby to the University.
“The timeless low wall design frames the grand view of Littlefield Fountain and the Tower beyond in a striking manner and will serve as a great introduction to the historic campus,” Bartels said. “It will be a major photo-taking opportunity for years to come and will literally add a new perspective to viewing campus.”
Matthew Johnson, owner of Bartlett Stone Company, said the lettering on the entrance took him three weeks to do.
“The material is called Cordoba Cream Limestone,” Johnson said. “It’s a locally quarried limestone. Most University of Texas buildings incorporate that type of limestone in the architecture.”
Johnson said that the font carved into the new entrance is a new typeface, one never carved into stone before. Dyal said the typeface, called “GT Sectra,” was selected by Dyal and Partners.
“We selected that font because it has, in our view, a kind of academic quality about it,” Dyal said. “And although it is a contemporary, digital age font, it is at the same time a kind of classic font, a serif font and a really beautiful typeface.”
According to Johnson, working on the entrance was a rewarding experience.
“It’s exciting to work for the University, especially on something that’s so iconic or hopefully going to become iconic,” Johnson said.