The Historic Core of the campus is the original area of the University dating back to the end of the 19th century. The zone can be loosely defined as bordered by Ross Street, Bizzell Street, Lubbock Street and Wellborn Road. The area is predominantly brick and stone buildings that range from one story to sixteen stories (O&M Tower). Many of the buildings that are still present within the zone date back to as early as 1909. Nearly half of the buildings are considered Heritage or Historic, notably including Nagle Hall (1909), Academic Building (1914), J.K. Williams Administration Building (1932), and the Memorial Student Center (1951).
Master Plan is not identifying any buildings to be demolished. Instead, certain buildings were selected to be assessed based on three categories: low density, low on the FCI index, or how present growth opportunities relate to the site. These buildings are: Old State Chemist Building, Thompson Hall, Engineering Activities Buildings, TAES Annex, and Biological Science Building West and Biological Sciences Building East. Any building that is being considered for demolition must by assessed through the Heritage Conservation Guidelines for Demolitions. Before a building is confirmed to be demolished, alternatives to demolition such as adaptive reuse, preservation, rehabilitation, restoration or reconstruction should be explored. This also includes non-historic buildings identified as infill such as Beutal Hall and Heaton Hall.
The Historic Core is the most heavily-used pedestrian area of the campus due to the large number of classrooms, student services, and amenities. There are 94 classrooms with close to 6,000 seats in this zone. It is the most concentrated area of the campus in terms of transient use. In order to accommodate the large number of pedestrians that populate this zone, the priority is to further accommodate the pedestrian and cater less to private vehicles. To continue the pursuit of a more pedestrian-friendly campus, various roadways in this zone will be altered to remove or reduce the use of personal vehicles. Spence Street (from Ross Street to the Animal Industries Building), Lamar Street (from Spence Street to Nagle Street), and Nagle Street (from Lubbock to Evans Library) will become pedestrian malls that will no longer allow vehicular access deep into the campus core. However, these roadways will still be accessible to credentialed service and emergency vehicles, as well as for special events. Lubbock Street (from Spence Street to Coke Street) and the Trigon transit loop will become limited access. Although, these streets will not be accessible to private vehicles during busy class times, they will be open to all vehicular traffic in evenings.