Campus Life

Visits to campus landmarks discouraged; Lion Shrine to close for maintenance

Nittany Lion Shrine to close for approximately three weeks starting June 1 for scheduled conservation work

Credit: Patrick Mansell / Penn StateCreative Commons

This story has been updated to reflect that forecasted rain is delaying the start date of the Lion Shrine conservation work to June 1, weather permitting. 


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – University officials, who have discouraged visits to campus and campus landmarks due to COVID-19, are increasing signage and social distancing guidance around the sites, as visitors continue to seek photographs in those areas and appear to be ignoring health care recommendations.

Officials urge visitors to follow guidance

Despite signs asking visitors to keep their distance and six-foot social distancing marks on sidewalks near the landmarks on the University Park campus, students and community members have been observed congregating near places such as the Nittany Lion Shrine, the We Are statue, Old Main, and the Pennsylvania State University stone wall on the corner of Porter Road and Park Avenue.

University officials are urging compliance with physical distancing practices, as well as wearing a mask in public prior to and after photos are taken. Officials also ask that people refrain from climbing on the landmarks or physically touching them for their own safety and that of others, as outdoor facilities or structures are not regularly cleaned or disinfected.

Additional signage reminding visitors of the six-foot recommendation for social distancing, as well as asking them to only stand near or in front of the landmark is being added. Failure by visitors to follow recommendations from health care experts on how to avoid the spread of COVID-19 may result in the landmarks being closed to the general public until further notice.

Lion Shrine scheduled to close June 1 for maintenance

Beginning June 1, the Nittany Lion Shrine will be closed for scheduled conservation work to preserve the historic landmark.

The shrine is expected to be closed for about three weeks but many factors, including weather, can affect the project’s timeline. During this time, the shrine will be fenced off and not available to the public.

Work will include repairs to the right ear and some of the claws, as well as cleaning and protective treatment. The project will comply with all federal, state and local safety requirements regarding COVID-19 protocols. To protect the health and safety of both the workers and the campus community, visitors are asked to stay out of the fenced area and refrain from approaching the workers.

The shrine, considered the most photographed spot on campus, is a gift of the class of 1940. The conservation work will be performed by McKay Lodge Art Conservation Laboratory based in Oberlin, Ohio.

Last Updated May 14, 2020