History of Campus Development

“In laying the foundations of an institution which is to last through coming ages and to affect all future generations, we have need to plan wisely. We must not expose ourselves needlessly to the inconveniences of changes nor to suspicions of caprice.” -- Board of Trustees of the Illinois Industrial University, March 1867

Since receiving its charter as a land-grant institution in 1867, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has grown steadily in stature and in size. In its first 125 years, the campus included over 200 permanent buildings, totaling 9,941,493 net assignable square feet (NASF) and 15,801,122 gross square feet (GSF). Fifteen percent of those structures are over 75 years old, 36 percent over 50 years old, and 75 percent over 25 years old. Several historic resources are listed in the National Register of Historic Places and as National Historic Landmarks.

Approximately 150 buildings and 36 sites are eligible for listing on the campus preservation index, which includes those structures built before 1945 and sites deemed important to the campus fabric.

  • A State University in Illinois

  • The College Land Grant Act

  • Establishment of the Illinois Industrial University

  • The First Plans

  • Ricker's Works on Campus

  • Laying the Foundation

  • Burrill's Study of Building Needs

  • Growing Pains

  • The Development of Central Campus

  • Financial Success

  • The Birth of Campus Planning at the University of Illinois

  • Campus Growth

  • Military History

  • The Campus Plan Commission

  • The 1920s: A Decade of Exceptional Growth

  • Georgian Revival Style

  • Depression Years

  • Post-War Building Program

  • New Growth on Old Ground