Historic Netsch Campus

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Introduction

Campus panorama

Welcome to the historic Netsch campus at UIC. This virtual walking tour introduces the modernist architecture found on the East Side of the University of Illinois at Chicago. Internationally acclaimed architect Walter Netsch at the Chicago firm of Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill designed the campus between 1963 and 1968.

In 1960, Chicago was one of only three major American cities that lacked a four-year publicly supported university. Thanks to the vision and determination of Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley, that changed just five years later, when the University of Illinois opened this campus to educate the children of working families right here in the city of Chicago. Located adjacent to a major city expressway interchange popularly known as “the Circle,” the new campus was named the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle. Circle welcomed its first students in February 1965.

Though much has changed in the nearly fifty years since Walter Netsch was engaged as principal architect on the project, his remarkable vision for the campus is still evident in buildings and spaces all over the East Side of UIC. Images from then and now accompany our story.