Around the Institute

Finding Common Ground on New Ground

October 1, 2018  • Institute Staff

“In recognition of the transformative leadership of Walter Isaacson, the Aspen Institute Board of Trustees has voted to rename the Aspen Meadows Reception Center as the Walter Isaacson Center,” James S. Crown, the Institute’s board chairman, said in 2017 when plans for the center were announced. Now, the Isaacson Center is a reality. Located on the western side of the Aspen Meadows Campus, the building has reopened after extensive renovations. Among the additions and enhancements are a new glass-enclosed event and dining space on the main floor named the Madeleine K. Albright Pavilion and the outdoor Bren and Mel Simon Terrace. Members of the public and Institute guests can also visit and enjoy a meal or a drink at Limeslicers Bar, Hefner Lounge, Davis Commons Restaurant, or Plato’s Restaurant. Or they can relax and reflect in the Morris Lobby, on the Bass Castle Creek Deck, on the Moderators Bridge, or in the Tisch Terrace and Gardens.

Shaw Construction, Jeffrey Berkus Architects, and project manager Jim Curtis spearheaded renovations of the building, originally constructed in 1958. The transformation added muchneeded upgrades and additions while remaining consistent with designer Herbert Bayer’s vision and classic Bauhaus style. “We are proud to be a part of the renovation, which brings a fresh energy and an inspired indoor/outdoor gathering center to the Aspen Meadows Campus,” Jeffrey Berkus, the project architect, said. “In the vein of the Bauhaus movement, the spaces resonate with a strong connection to the natural world while further supporting the Institute’s mission of finding common ground.”

That’s a sentiment Isaacson has long supported. As Crown said back in 2017, Isaacson “leaves a legacy of values-based leadership and extraordinary growth in the eminence and impact of the Institute.” Now even more people can feel that impact in even more settings.