In round numbers, there are about fifty buildings on Illinois Institute of Technology’s main campus at 33rd and State Streets in Chicago. World renowned as the “Mies campus,” about twenty of the buildings were designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe during his 20-year tenure as director of the IIT architecture program and campus architect. Beyond our State Street campus, the university occupies several other buildings at multiple locations including our Downtown Campus at Adams and Jefferson Street, our Rice Campus in Wheaton, and our Moffett Campus in Bedford Park.
But our architectural history doesn’t end there, either. Or more accurately, that’s not where it begins. Consider the structures which housed the various institutions, created as separate schools, but which have since become part of IIT – Lewis Institute, Armour Institute of Technology, Institute of Design, and Chicago-Kent College of Law. Several of these buildings, including some no longer extant, are notable structures in the history of Chicago architecture, some significant enough to be included in the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS).
With the announcement in 2001 that S. R. Crown Hall had been awarded National Historic Landmark status and the Chicago Landmark designation awarded in 2004 to Main Building and Machinery Hall, this exhibit looks at some other IIT buildings which have been accorded marks of architectural distinction. Also included here are some buildings, perhaps not architecturally remarkable, but which also served to house university activities. All the buildings included here were used at some point as academic, administrative, residential, or research facilities by IIT, its predecessor institutions, its professional schools, or its research affiliate.