Restore the Quarry Amphitheater!

Carved from a former working quarry amidst redwoods and rocky outcroppings, the Upper Quarry Amphitheater at UC Santa Cruz dramatically showcases the deep connection between the campus, its history, and the natural landscape. Designed in the early ’60s by modernist landscape architect Robert Royston, its asymmetrical terraces and sunny park-like character highlight the surroundings.

Despite its central role in campus life since its opening in 1966, the Upper Quarry Amphitheater fell into disrepair. As a result, events were discontinued in 2006 leaving a void in the heart of campus.

Plans for restoring the amphitheater envision a newly invigorated, inviting cultural space that retains its natural beauty. While some features will be upgraded, one that will be taken back to its original state is “the rock,” an outcropping that dramatically pierces the stage.

The project feasibility study calls for both restoration and new enhancements. The initial construction will provide accessibility, building code, life safety, and basic operational upgrades to support performances, events and casual daily use of the venue.

  • Seating will be expanded from current 1,636 to 2,000.
  • Stairs, ramps, handrails, lighting, and overall access will be improved.
  • Provisions will be made for portable infrastructure to support events.

To learn more, please visit this webpage.

Many thanks to dedicated students for providing input and support for reviving of this UCSC landmark!

Not only did students contribute perspective on the ecological, experiential and symbolic value of this place and a vision for its future potential, students and staff worked together to identify the needs of the campus community, strengthen campus facilities, and preserve the intrinsic spirit of the amphitheater and its rich landscape. Students also endorsed the use of over $6 million from student fees to facilitate this renovation.

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