The Master Plan for Drexel University from 2012 to the Sesquicentennial in 2041, Drexel@150, will focus on existing buildings to further four goals: optimize the use of real estate resources, create a unique identity for the campus, connect Drexel to the communities around the campus, and achieve these goals sustainably.
The 2007 Master Plan featured eleven specific projects, of which one was titled “North Academic Building,” intended to house classrooms studios, and faculty offices. The selected site was north of the Paul Peck Problem Solving & Research Building, formerly known as the Academic Building.
In 2009, with the generous help of an anonymous donor, Drexel acquired buildings at 3501 Market and 3401 Filbert Streets:
Popularly known as the ISI Building (Institutie for Scientific Investigation), 3501 Market Street was designed by one of the late 20th century’s most prominent architects, Philadelphia’s Robert Venturi. Once renovations are complete, the building will be known as the URBN Center and will house the Westphal College of Media Arts and Design, supplanting the need for the project as originally conceived in the 2007 Master Plan. The architecture firm Meyer Scherer & Rockcastle designed renovations to the buildings at 3501 Market and 3401 Filbert Streets.