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PMU Ground Floor Renovation

Purdue Memorial Union (PMU) Ground Floor Renovation

The Purdue Memorial Union recently underwent a renovation of the ground floor, which ultimately provides new outdoor terraces, more dining options, improved accessibility, enhanced technology, better wayfinding, relevant branding/graphics and more seating for you to enjoy!

You can play an integral part in transforming the Purdue Memorial Union’s ground floor. Choose from among several beautiful spaces to leave your legacy.



The Purdue Memorial Union (PMU) Ground Floor Renovation Project will greatly improve the retail dining space and social experience within the PMU. The last time the PMU Ground Floor dining area received a renovation was in 2008 and was cosmetic in nature. The 67,000-square foot ground floor is being renovated with a return to more historical context and imagery with added modern amenities.

Purdue Memorial Union has a great historical significance to Purdue University with its original construction completed in 1922. Subsequent to this date, there were additions to PMU in 1929, 1935, 1938, 1939, 1953, and 1986. During the demolition phase of the project, original exterior walls from 1922 were uncovered and will now be visible to all. The original architectural firm, Pond and Pond, also designed the University of Michigan’s Union, which opened in 1919. The new design details with this new construction will preserve the history of the building as well as provide a fresh, modern look and experience. An additional design feature of two outdoor terraces and the emphasis of two light wells at the new fireplace lounge, previously part of a back-of-house corridor drywall, will provide even more natural light. The existing plaster arches and wooden windows, original to the 1922 construction, are preserved and accentuated with the new design.

More space for seating, dining venues and circulation is being created by converting the old, existing kitchen. The previous configuration of the PMU Ground Floor dining area had approximately 700 seats and nine dining choices, plus the 1869 Tap Room. The new renovation will provide for 900 interior seats and 11 dining venues – one of which is a sports bar co-owned by Purdue alumnus Drew Brees. An improved convenience store will be located in closer proximity to the Union Club Hotel. The new construction will provide for 144 new exterior seats at the terraces, both of which will have a fire pit.

Quick Facts

  • Eleven new dining venues.
  • Improved convenience store.
  • Four performance stages – three inside, one outside. 
  • Added fireplace lounge with exterior light wells. 
  • Outdoor seating terraces with fire pits. 
  • Overall seating capacity of 1,044 (900 indoors, 144 outdoors). 
  • Multiple collaboration areas with increased technology. 
  • New, functional and diverse furniture options. 
  • Enhanced wayfinding and environmental graphic storytelling.
  • Greater accessibility and circulation.
  • Gender neutral restrooms and lactation room. 


  • White Lodging and Purdue University enhance relationship, honor J.W. (Bill) Marriott, Jr.White Lodging, one of the leading hospitality development and management companies in the United States, is enhancing the development of the next generation of hospitalitarians as part of the White family's significant continued support of Purdue University.

    In addition, Purdue trustees voted Friday (Oct. 1) to rename the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management in honor of the White family's longstanding financial and in-kind support. At the request of Bruce White, White Lodging's founder and CEO, the school's name will also honor the career and contributions of J.W. (Bill) Marriott, Jr., executive chairman and chairman of the board of Marriott International. Read the full press release on the Purdue newsroom website here. 

  • $2.5 million gift names Purdue Memorial Union ground floor. The Purdue University Board of Trustees on Friday (Oct. 1) approved naming the ground floor of the Purdue Memorial Union for the family of Bob and Judy Atlas in recognition of a $2.5 million gift from the Robert and Judith Atlas Family Foundation. Read the October 1st press release from Purdue News Service here.

  • PMU launches five new restaurant concepts. Eating options are set to expand significantly at the Purdue Memorial Union. Cornerstone Restaurant Group in partnership with Aramark, Purdue's foodservice provider, is bringing five new restaurant concepts in Purdue's Memorial Union. Read the full article in the Journal & Courier here.

  • PMU renovations set to be finished by January 2022. The renovation is part of the first phase of Purdue’s Master Plan — a 50 year project that aims to modernize Purdue’s physical facilities. Leadership is confident the project will be completed by the scheduled January 2022 deadline, in time for students’ return from winter break. Read the full article in the Purdue Exponent here.

  • Purdue Memorial Union added three new Bistro-style restaurants! 8Eleven Bistro, BoilerUp Bar and Leaps Artisan Pastries and Coffee are now open! Read more about these locations on here.
  •  The PMU Ground Floor Renovation will bring many new features and dining concepts to the 67,000 square foot space that will be a marked transformation to the cornerstone of Purdue's campus. The space is on schedule to open in January 2022. Read the June 10th press release from Purdue News Service here.

  • PMU hosted “Furniture Sit Tests” to establish standards for new furniture for various spaces in the renovated ground floor in three different phases: dining, lounge and patio-style furniture. Read student feedback for dining furniture in the Purdue Exponent here.



Want to stay in-the-know with the latest PMU renovation updates? View the time-lapse of the construction at PMU from the roof of the PMU and from the roof of Rawls. Keep checking in on these pages as the renovation progresses!