Revitalizing a Historic Portal

The University of Chicago Cobb Gate | Chicago, Illinois

Revitalizing a Historic Portal

Chicago, Illinois
Scope of Services
ADA Accessibility Consulting

LCM solved numerous challenges posed by bringing the University of Chicago’s historic Cobb Gate into accessibility compliance.


Cobb Gate, a key element of the University of Chicago’s history and campus circulation, connects the main areas on campus, including the main library and the historic quad. It has entrances to buildings on either side and serves as an entry point for emergency vehicles.

During LCM’s comprehensive survey to ensure accessibility compliance across the campus, we discovered that the slope of the walking path through Cobb Gate exceeded the permissible limit. To address this issue, LCM’s design solution involved lowering the pavement by 15 inches. Consequently, the project required lowering a below-grade utility tunnel that connects adjacent buildings. LCM met stringent structural and clearance requirements to overcome these challenges. The process exposed sections of original, unfinished foundation stones, which was carefully refinished or concealed through new construction.

LCM redesigned the entrances on the east and west sides of the Gate, adding limestone stairs and meticulously detailed metal railings that complement the historic structure. We removed and restored the 100-year-old iron gates, bringing them back to working order after many years.


American Institute of Architects Chicago, Divine Detail Award
Association of Licensed Architects, Award of Merit

Size 1,100 Square Feet
Services Provided Architecture | ADA Accessibility Consulting
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