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On the Boards | Altgeld and Illini Halls with CannonDesign

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It’s no surprise that data technology is growing rapidly. At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), enrollments in the Departments of Mathematics and Statistics are up 40 percent in the last ten years. To accommodate these growing departments, UIUC is looking to expand their facilities to support the departments by restoring the historic Altgeld Hall and replacing the neighboring Illini Hall with the help of CannonDesign and Bailey Edward.

Built in 1897, Altgeld Hall is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is the second oldest building on UIUC’s campus. Altgeld serves the Departments of Mathematics and Statistics on campus, although it was originally used as the University Library, and later, the College of Law. Altgeld Hall’s façade is comprised of sandstone and features an iconic tower, seen across campus as a symbol of the University. The tower houses the University Chime, installed in 1920, which plays the alma mater tune to students across the campus. Intricate floor mosaics, murals, paintings and woodwork decorate the historic interior.

Altgeld was last significantly renovated in 1956, leaving many years of maintenance to be addressed. BE will lead the preservation effort on Altgeld as part of CannonDesign’s team. Decorative elements will be restored and accessibility upgrades such as a second elevator and consistent leveling of the floors will be undertaken. Furthermore, heating and cooling systems replacements will increase energy efficiency and occupant comfort. The interior spaces will be repurposed to support the academic activities of the mathematics and statistics departments. While still in the initial stages, the BE team is beginning by laser scanning Altgeld Hall to get a holistic understanding of the building.

Illini Hall’s replacement, led by CannonDesign, will be a larger building than the existing and will feature a data science center as part of the Champaign-Urbana hub of the Illinois Innovation Network. These modern learning spaces will increase research capacity and benefit all students of the University.

Bailey Edward is excited to work with CannonDesign again on a UIUC building restoration. Seven years earlier, the team successfully completed the award-winning renovation and restoration of the campus’ historic Lincoln Hall.