UC Santa Cruz Upper Quarry Amphitheater Renovation

University of California, Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz, California

The Upper Quarry Amphitheater at UC Santa Cruz was designed in the mid-1960s by landscape architect Robert Royston inside of a natural stone quarry on campus. Graduations, protests, lectures and concerts were held in this 2,000 seat amphitheater until it deteriorated to the point it could no longer be safely used. Both a renovation and a rehabilitation, the project will upgrade the venue to include accessible seating and better access for all patrons. The project scope also includes rock-slope stabilization, safety fencing, improved emergency vehicle access, on-site stormwater treatment, regular and emergency power, and site lighting. Supporting the overwhelming request of the students, Wi-Fi will be installed to serve over 2,000 simultaneous connections.

The site now includes one additional row of seating, maintaining the original asymmetrical seat layout as closely as possible. Materials used represent the original design with revisions to improve long-term durability and maintenance. Stairs are also being reconstructed in their original locations.

The Upper Quarry Amphitheater is a historical resource under CEQA, and as such all modifications are sympathetic to the original design so as not to diminish the amphitheater’s historic integrity.

Construction is expected to be complete mid-September, 2017.

Historic images: Courtesy of University of California, Santa Cruz, Special Collections; Construction image: Courtesy of Siegfried Engineering, Inc.