UArts Living Steps

JacobsWyper Architect’s worked with the University to transform their Dorrance Hamilton Hall stairs. Originally completed in 1826, it is the oldest building located on Broad Street. It was revamped in the 1980s. However, repeated usage of the stairs had decreased the aesthetic appeal. Using JacobsWyper design concept in addition with trustees donations the stairs were restored & completed in 2021. The stairs were recast in softer wood and now feature data and power outlets and tiers of cushioned benches on either side of the traditional risers. The walls on either side of the steps were also removed and replaced with perforated metal dividers, expanding the seating areas and creating a more open and inviting space. The stairs are seen as a recognizable and historical landmark to the University and students. The newly renamed Living Steps were publicly dedicated in a ceremony in October 2021 and are ready for students, faculty and more visitors.


Philadelphia, PA



Project Principal

David Searles
living steps