Historic Bowles Hall Experiences New Life with EdR and the Bowles Hall Foundation

As UC Berkley’s first P3 residential project, Bowles Hall re-opened in August of 2016 and returned to its original use as a residential college. The nearly $36 million renovation project was spearheaded by the Bowles Hall Foundation, a private, nonprofit entity comprised of Bowles Hall alumni. To realize the dream of re-opening the residential college and restore it to its grandeur, the Foundation entered into a long term ground lease with UC Berkeley and retained EdR as the project developer and manager.

Opened in 1928, the 8-story, castle-like building is on the National Register of Historic Places and features 192 beds and 118 units. EdR worked with the Bowles Hall Foundation to preserve the historical integrity of the architecture, while updating the landmark. It features an entirely new systems infrastructure and significant seismic and life safety improvements.

The project also returned dining to the historic building, and has a library, game room and student lounge.

The historic renovation of Bowles Hall serves as a new reminder of the importance of the physical environment in the collegiate setting. From a bricks-and-mortar perspective, Bowles Hall is a national and local historic landmark; but more importantly, the Residential College model offers an enriching and supportive community that can improve academic outcomes and create life-long benefits for students at UC Berkley.