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Guided and Self-Guided Walking Tours

Guided Walking Tours

Building Tours

Purdue Memorial Union has a rich history dating back to 1924. PMU Building Managers are available to give tours of the facility that include the history and creation of the building, our purpose, the architectural significance and how we are a permanent memorial to the Purdue men and women who served in defense of our country. Tours also include information on ground, first and seconds floors, which are home to dining and retail services. Visit the Information Desk in the Great Hall of Purdue Memorial Union for a tour with a Building Manager.

Self-guided Walking Tour

First Floor

Great Hall

As you first enter the Purdue Memorial Union (PMU) from the south entrance, you will go up the south stairs into the Great Hall. The Great Hall displays much of PMU’s architectural history. The Purdue Memorial Union opened in September of 1924 and was designed by Pond & Pond architects. Pond & Pond also designed the unions at Michigan, Michigan State, and Kansas. A few notable features include:

  • The stained-glass windows, which represent the mixing of students of all races and creeds within its walls.
  • The interior stone arches, which represent the ruggedness, sincerity, and individualism of the students.
  • The upswept arches of the windows, which symbolize the youth and spirit of the Union.

The Union, and this Great Hall in particular, are dedicated to the memory of the 2,013 Purdue faithful who served in WWI, and the 67 who died in that war.  The Union as a memorial was later extended to honor all Purdue men and women who died in military service to our country.

The campus map in the center of this room is extremely popular with alumni and visitors.

Room 118

Immediately east of the Great Hall is Room 118. Room 118 was the original Men’s Lounge when Purdue Memorial Union opened in 1924, and curiously it is located just below the original Women’s Lounge. It features a warm fireplace and is another very popular, quiet study space. However, it is also used for catered breakfasts, lunches and dinners, and as a pre-function space for large events in the Ballrooms.

East and West Main Lounges

As you leave the Great Hall walking west, you will come across the East and West Main Lounges. Student Unions are often thought of as the proverbial “living room of the campus”. The East and West Main Lounges are a comfortable spot that help us fulfill our traditional role as community builders. The bronze busts that you see in this room honor the service of Purdue presidents, and they are commissioned at the end of each presidency. The transition from East to West Main Lounge marks the west end of the original building, which was added onto in 1939, giving us the West Main Lounge. The display cases in the West Main Lounge showcase some of our organizational history.

Amazon Store: Moved to Krach Leadership Center

Directly across from the West Main Lounge was the Amazon Store. This space has been many things over time, including a cigar store, a newsstand, a copy center, and the extremely popular Amazon Store—the first such brick-and-mortar Amazon in the country. The second Amazon @Purdue location, and now only location, is in the Krach Leadership Center across campus.

Evans Eye Care

Just across from Amazon, we have Evans Eye Care. This branch is one of three branches in the Lafayette/West Lafayette area. Evans was located on the ground floor of PMU initially but was moved up in 2020. Evans Eye Care has been located in the PMU since 2010.

Purdue Federal Credit Union

As you walk north down the hall from the Amazon Store, the Purdue Federal Credit Union will be on your right. Purdue Federal Credit Union was the very first leased space in Purdue Memorial Union and first opened in 2004. 

Fidelity Investments

Across from PFCU is Fidelity Investments. Fidelity was also previously located on the ground floor and was moved up to the first floor in 2020. Fidelity is Purdue's official provider of education, guidance and assistance related to retirement plan investments and decisions. Since 2010, Fidelity has drawn faculty and staff to Purdue Memorial Union.

UPS Store

The UPS store was the final store that was located on the ground floor and moved up at the start of renovations in 2020. The UPS Store offers shipping and printing services. Another early lease tenant, UPS has been in the PMU since 2009.

West Great Hall

After walking past the UPS Store, you will enter the West Great Hall. The West Great Hall serves as an informal lounge and is home to our International Flag Display. The flags are the symbols of more than 120 nations and serve to remind us that Boilermakers have a presence across the world.

The International Flag Display was established by the Iron Key senior leadership honorary of 2006, in partnership with the Purdue Student Union Board and PMU. The purpose of the display is to:

  • Acknowledge the large international presence at Purdue.
  • Support the University's diversity initiatives.
  • Remind students about the value of study abroad opportunities.
  • Represent the Purdue experience in preparing students for today's global community.

South Ballroom

Straight across from the West Great Hall are the west doors to the South Ballroom. The South Ballroom is original to the building and measures 7,200 square feet. It can hold up to 800 people in various configurations:

  • Banquet (Round Tables) – 432
  • Theatre – 700
  • Dance – 800

North Ballroom

Past the South Ballroom to your right is the North Ballroom. The North Ballroom was part of the 1939 west wing expansion and features many of the Pond & Pond architectural details mentioned previously. It measures 7,320 square feet and can hold up to 720 people in various configurations:

  • Banquet (Round Tables) – 352
  • Theatre – 500
  • Dance – 720

Both of the ballrooms are heavily used for:

  • Weddings
  • Conferences
  • Job Fairs
  • Receptions
  • Banquets
  • Student & Community Events such as Late Nights and concerts

Second Floor

Veterans Success Center

Taking the stairwell past the North Ballroom, once on the second floor the Veterans Success Center will be on your right. When legislative changes occurred around 2014 relative to university services offered to returning veterans, and given the war memorial aspect of our mission, Purdue Memorial Union actively pursued having an office in the PMU in support of our veterans.

Amateur Radio Club

As you continue down the hallway, the Purdue Amateur Radio Club will be on your right. The Purdue Radio Club has existed in Purdue Memorial Union for as long as anyone can remember. Access to antennas on the rooftop was the primary reason for this location.

Purdue Student Union Board (PSUB)

Just past the Amateur Radio Club is the Purdue Student Union Board (PSUB) Office. Established in 1920, PSUB predates the construction of the PMU. The Student Union Board was an active organization dedicated to serving the Purdue student body and assisted with the funding to build the Purdue Memorial Union. In 1920 the first Student Union Board consisted of five students; today there are more than 100 members. As a department of the Purdue Memorial Union as well as a recognized Purdue University student organization, PSUB has provided Purdue students, faculty, staff, and the Greater Lafayette community with programs and services for more than 80 years. The PSUB Board also serves as an advisor to the PMU Director in cooperative management of the Union. 

Meeting Rooms 256-260; 263

As you continue down the hallway, you will see a variety of meeting spaces on your left and right. These meeting spaces are serviced by the Union Club Hotel.

Smart Stained Glass Windows

At the end of the hall, to your right, you will notice stained-glass windows in the west stairwell. These are known as the Smart Windows. They were given by Alice Stuart in memory of Dr. James H. Smart, President of Purdue from 1883-1900.

West Faculty Lounge

Turning left, you will see the West Faculty Lounge on your right. It was part of the west wing addition in 1939. The West Faculty Lounge is serviced by the Union Club Hotel

East Faculty Lounge

Just past the West Faculty Lounge on your right is the East Faculty Lounge. It is part of the original building but was originally known as the Alumni Lounge. It is a popular venue for meetings, catered meals and together with the West Faculty Lounge, small wedding receptions. The East Faculty Lounge is serviced by the Union Club Hotel.

Director's Room

Across from the East Faculty Lounge to your left is the Director's Room. It is a popular venue for meetings, catered lunches and dinners, with access to the Sagamore. The Director’s Room is serviced by the Union Club Hotel

Sagamore Meeting Room

Past the Director’s Room is the Sagamore Meeting Room. Sagamore gets its name from a Native American tribe once found in Indiana. It holds up to 75 people for meetings and around 50 for food serviced events. There is a tv located in the room and the food in the room can be provided by either the Union Club Hotel or Purdue Food Company.

South Tower

Continuing down the hall, past the grand staircase on the left is the South Tower. The South Tower showcases an excellent view of campus. It has a small stage and room for performing arts or meetings. It is often reserved by student groups for dance practices and other gatherings. It also features an open play piano.

Administrative Offices

As you walk past the South Tower you will see administrative offices on your right and left. The Administrative Offices on the second floor are home to the Director of the PMU, administrative staff and both Purdue and Union Club Hotel event services. The event services spaces were originally the Women’s Lounge when the building opened in 1924.

Anniversary Drawing Room

Straight ahead is the Anniversary Drawing Room. This room is utilized for small catered events and as a meeting space for the Purdue Board of Trustees.

Turn left at the Anniversary Drawing room, go to the end of the hall and turn left before the stairs, take the elevator down to the ground floor. Come out of the elevator, turn left, then right. Follow that hall to the main hallway of the ground floor, turn left and go to where the stairs from Grant Street come down to the ground floor.

Ground Floor

The Purdue Memorial Union (PMU) Ground Floor reopened in January 2022 after a full renovation. The renovation greatly improved the retail dining space and social experience within the PMU.  The last renovation of the 67,0000 square foot ground floor was in 2008 and was only cosmetic in nature.

The PMU has great historical significance to Purdue University with its original construction completed in 1924. Subsequent to this date, there were additions to the PMU in 1929, 1935, 1938, 1939, 1953, and 1986. The 2022 renovation preserved the history of the building while adding modern amenities. The new contemporary design provided a fresh look and added historical context and imagery throughout the ground floor. Existing plaster arches and wooden windows, original to the 1922 construction, were preserved and accentuated with the new design and renovations. The environmental graphics dispersed throughout the ground floor tell the story of the PMU and Purdue in a way boilermakers of the past, present, and future can connect with. 

More space for seating, dining venues and circulation was created by rightsizing the previous kitchen. The old configuration of the PMU ground floor dining area had approximately 700 seats and nine dining choices, plus the 1869 Tap Room. The 2021 renovation provides for 900 interior seats, 144 exterior seats, and 12 dining venues.

At the bottom of the stairs from Grant Street, on the right is a limited access elevator for individuals with a need to move between the ground floor and the basement (Union Rack and Roll and Boiler Game Mine).

Straight ahead you will notice the welcome arch, it is meant to emulate the arch at the corner of Mitch Daniels Boulevard and Grant Street.

Boilermaker Market

To the right you will see Boilermaker Market, an improved convenience store that is great for guests of the union to grab a drink or snack on their way through. The location is in close proximity to the Union Club Hotel so that hotel guests may grab last minute items as well as snacks.

1869 Lounge and Conference Room

To the left is the 1869 Lounge and Conference Room. The 1869 Lounge and Conference Room can be reserved by anyone.

Past the 1869 Lounge, on the left are two billiard tables that are able to be reserved by the hour. Reservations are made in Union Rack and Roll.

On the right are gender-neutral restrooms and a lactation room. 

East Terrace

You can see out to the East Terrace from here. This is the smaller of the two terraces and will serves students as well as outdoor functions. Its design makes it easy to create an exclusive space for private functions. This terrace has a built-in stage and firepit.

Ever True Stage

To the right you will see the 1st of 2 indoor stages featured in the 2021 ground floor construction. This is the Ever True Stage. The Ever True and Hail Purdue stages can be reserved by departments and student organizations. This stage is used to run Purdue programming such as bingo and trivia nights and the Purdue football and basketball coach’s shows.

In the main hallway, behind the Ever True Stage, to the right are men’s and women’s restrooms located side by side.

Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux

Next, on the left is Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux. Walk-On’s is co-owned by Purdue’s famous Drew Brees and serves scratch-made, Louisiana-inspired dishes with a game-day flair. Featuring 48 TV’s, Walk-On’s is the perfect place to grab a bite to eat and catch the game.

The stained-glass windows in the arching, outside of Walk-On’s, covers the many Walk-On’s TV’s which makes for a beautiful view.

Below the stained-glass windows is the first of the limestone PMU signs, the Dean Beverly Stone. This stone was the original Purdue University marker at the corner of Grant and State streets, that honored M. Beverly Stone, Dean of Students Emerita, for her 24 years of caring concern for students and her exemplary leadership contributions to Purdue. Originally dedicated in 1984, this limestone marker was pulled out of storage and brought back to life in the ground floor renovation.

Fireplace Lounge

Continuing down the hall, to the right is a fireplace lounge. This fireplace was original to the PMU building and was uncovered during the renovation construction. Construction also allowed for the opening of the exterior light wells here that provide more natural light.

Turn right down the hallway by the fireplace lounge.


To the left is Aatish, offering contemporary halal dishes for dining guests in the union.

Sushi Boss

Moving a little further down, on the left is Sushi boss, which was here prior to the renovation. Sushi Boss is an innovative sushi concept that lets you create your own sushi rolls in any combination.

There are several seating options throughout the ground floor here that are a variety of soft and hard with an abundant amount of power options so that students can kick back in between classes and charge their laptops, etc.


Continuing, up ahead on the right of the hallway is Zen, which offers poké. Poké is essentially sushi in a bowl. This fresh healthy cuisine originated from Hawaii and features cubed-cut raw fish blended in a bowl with rice, veggies, and flavorful toppings.

Pizza and Parm

To the left is Chef Bill Kim’s Pizza and Parm, featuring Detroit style pizza and chicken parmesan dishes.

Continuing further down the hallway are sitting areas on the right for students to plug into screens and have impromptu presentations or collaborations/meetings.

Latin Inspired

To the left is Jay Manion Latin Inspired. Latin Inspired serves South American flavors and Latin flare from Brazil and Argentina. Here, Purdue Food Company is working towards an order ahead pickup box.

Fresh Fare

Straight ahead, at the end of the hallway, is Fresh Fare. Fresh Fare features fresh flavors with an emphasis on vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free dishes.

Turn left past Latin Inspired.

BBQ District

Up ahead on the right is BBQ district, serving slow-cooked meats, regional sauces and savory sides. Everything in the ceiling at BBQ District is exposed to emulate the feel that you find in restaurants in many larger cities.

Turn left down the hallway past BBQ District

On the right are two meeting rooms that are reservable and another men’s and women’s restroom.

Sol Toro

To the left is Sol Toro, blending traditional Mexican flavors with a modern flair. Sol Toro offers innovative rice bowls, tacos and burritos. To the left of Sol Toro counter is a picture timeline of renovations to the PMU and campus on the wall.

Continuing up the hallway, on the left are encased portions of the original 1924 exterior wall that was found during the demolition phase of the 2021 renovations. These are encased in glass and displayed here to show how much the history of this building means to everyone. To the left and right here are columns that have the Purdue Hymn and Fight song on them.

To right here is the second Purdue limestone marker.

Starbucks and the Hail Purdue Stage

Continuing up the hallway, to the right is Starbucks, which now offers order ahead. The 2021 renovations gave Starbucks a much larger countertop and better flow to the space than there was prior to construction. The Starbucks space also features the Hail Purdue Stage which is used for live musical performances and karaoke nights. This space offers the option to convert the seating to more of a theater feel for the live performances. Notice the Hail Purdue written in the brass inlay on the stage back.

Chef Bill Kim’s

On the left is Chef Bill Kim’s which features a rotating menu. Chef Bill Kim’s brings Asian and American cuisine together with fine dining techniques and neighborhood comfort.

West Commons

Straight ahead is the breezeway which enhances the lighting in this space to bring less of an underground feeling and more of an open and light feeling. Here, at the West Commons, is a lot of open seating and Walk-On’s grab and go options.

West Terrace

Just past the West Commons is the West Terrace, which is much larger than the East Terrace and provides additional seating and another firepit. Between the west and east terraces, there are 144 additional seats.

Turn left in the hallway before the West Commons.

Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux

Up ahead on the right is Walk-On’s again. Walk-On’s was very understanding of the history and importance of Pappy’s Sweetshop to the PMU and made a little niche with the old Pappy’s booth that has names carved into it as well as some graphics of Pappy’s to pay homage to the history that it held here. There are also Pappy’s milkshakes featured on the Walk-On’s menu. Continuing ahead to the bar, here is an original smoking rail from campus used to section off the bar area from the restaurant and railroad ties used for the bar footrest.

Continue straight up the hallway, past Walk-On’s, back to the Grant Street entrance.


Coming in the Grant Street entrance you can swing down the stairs to the basement, which features Union Rack & Roll and the Boiler Game Mine.

Union Rack & Roll

When at the bottom of the stairs, to your left is Union Rack & Roll with 10 bowling lanes and four billiard tables. This is a popular relaxation and fun area for students. Union Rack & Roll also supports bowling and billiard leagues and is home to Purdue’s for-credit bowling class, with approximately 300 students per year.

In 2022, 10 of the billiard tables were removed from Union Rack & Roll to make room for a small meeting/party room, which can be seen directly in front of you when standing at the bottom of the stairs.

Boiler Game Mine

When at the bottom of the stairs, to the right is Boiler Game Mine, which was added to the basement in 2022 when the billiard tables were removed from Union Rack & Roll. Boiler Game Mine is an eGaming studio that offers 26 PCs for gaming, console gaming and a racing rig.

Click HERE to download a printable copy of our self-guided tour in PDF format.