Natural History Building
Dedicated on November 16, 1892, the Natural History Building is one of 5 buildings on the University campus designed by architect Nathan Ricker. Built in the American High Victorian Gothic style, the building represented a welcome deviation from the architectural styles prevalent in the rest of campus.
The initial occupants of the building were the departments of botany, entomology, zoology, physiology, geology, and mathematics, along with the State Natural History Survey and the State Entomologist. In June 1897, a lightning strike caught fire to a portion of the building, causing $75,000 worth of damage. Additions in 1909 and 1910 added a lecture hall and a museum, respectively.
In 1959, the Geology Library was inaugurated in the building, and on November 16, 1979, the library was dedicated in honor of George Willard White, who served as the Head of the Department of Geology from 1947 to 1965 and was largely responsible for growing the collection to its present size.
The Museum of Natural History was originally located in the center of the building, occupying a respectable 51 by 63 foot space. It later moved to quarters on the fourth floor until around 2001, when it was closed and its more than 420,000 artifacts dispersed. Among this spectacular assemblage was the entire bird collection from the Columbian Exposition of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair. Its cultural artifact collection, numbering around 3,000 items, was moved to the new Spurlock Museum.
The building, located at 1301 W. Green St, Urbana, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.
|Selected Images of the Natural History Building|
Below is a selection of images of the Natural History Building. These images may be viewed for personal use only and may NOT be republished in any form. To use one of these images in a U of I presentation or Web or print publication, please click on the "download" link beneath each image to download the image free of charge.|