Within months of the 1940 merger of Lewis Institute and Armour Institute of Technology which created Illinois Institute of Technology, the trustees and school administrators were at work on a plan to expand the State Street property which would eventually become the campus we see around us today. The plan included clearing old buildings, buying additional land, and building a totally new campus.
To promote the master plan, and to begin the fundraising effort for the new buildings, President Henry Heald and board Chairman James Cunningham spoke to "more than one hundred of Chicago's civic and industrial leaders [about] the development in Chicago of 'the greatest technological center' in the United States." The proposal, endorsed by the 55 member Board of Trustees, was published in 1941 in A Program and A Plan.
The proposal identified six new buildings needed for the college which was still envisioned as a commuter school at that point. All of the buildings were for classrooms and teaching laboratories. According to This is OUR Job, the value of the land, plant, and equipment currently owned by the school was valued at $2,550,000, "all free of debt." The price tag for the new buildings, as published in Blue Print for Progress, was set at $3,100,000.