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Self-Guided Quad Tour

Discover the heart of campus on this tour around the Main Quad ending at Campustown.

Tour Details

Route

The Quad Tour is approximately 1.5 miles in length. It starts and ends at the Admissions and Records Building, at 901 West Illinois Street, in Urbana.

Quad Tour Map

Guide Options

There are three different options for guiding yourself through this tour:

  • Use your mobile device to navigate through our Google map.
  • Use your mobile device to access this web page. You should be automatically provided with a mobile-friendly version of assist you.
  • Print this page and take it with you on your journey. You'll get a printer-friendly version.

Tour Landmarks

Start at the Admissions and Records Building

Admissions and Records Building

Hours: The Admissions and Records Building is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Your first step at the University of Illinois might be meeting with an admissions counselor or student representative here at the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

Admissions counselors can address any questions regarding the admissions process or requirements. Student representatives can answer questions regarding academic and campus life at Illinois.

The Admissions and Records Building
901 West Illinois Street
Urbana, IL 61801

Where to next?

Head west to Gregory Street and then take a right to head north toward Illinois Street. Once you reach Illinois Street, you'll see the Illinois Street Residence Halls in front of you.

Illinois Street Residence Halls

Illinois Street Residence Hall

Innovation Living-Learning Community: A community for invention and entreprenurial spirits is located on the second floor of Townsend.

The building at the intersection of Gregory and Illinois is the Illinois Street Residence Halls.

Townsend and Wardall are the two halls that make up the Illinois Street Residence complex. Both are popular with both new and returning residents.

More information on this hall and the 22 other university owned residence halls may be found at housing.illinois.edu.

Where to next?

Head west on Illinois Street, but notice the large complex to the south. This is the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.

Krannert Center for the Performing Arts

Krannert Center for the Performing Arts

Spacious: Krannert Center for the Performing Arts takes up a full city block between Goodwin, Illinois, Gregory, and Oregon Street.

On your left as you head west on Illinois Street is the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. It is home to more than 350 performances each year and 180 productions, 80% of which are student-run. These performances include everything from operas to guitar festivals, and all shows have student discounts available. Kiplinger's Magazine cites Krannert Center as one of the finest performing arts complexes in the nation, and one of the best performing arts facilities on any university campus.

Krannert Center also has a cafe and gift shop inside. If you're interested in exploring the interior, enter on the east side from Gregory Street, or on the west side from Goodwin Avenue.

Where to next?

Continue walking west on Illinois Street, crossing Goodwin Avenue. Then continue straight west between Burrill and Morrill Halls, under the skywalk.

Burrill and Morrill Halls

Burrill and Morrill Halls

Morrill Hall: Morrill Hall is pictured here. Burrill Hall is just to the right. The two buildings are connected via the skywalk.

Burrill and Morrill Halls are home to the advising departments of the Life Sciences.

Note the historical marker near the entrance to Burrill Hall. Read the bronze plaque and/or use a QR reader on your Smartphone to access a video clip about this campus scientific advancement.

Where to next?

Proceed west under the skywalk and then cross Mathews Street. Continue directly west between the Natural History Building and Noyes Laboratory of Chemistry.

Natural History Building and Noyes Laboratory of Chemistry

Natural History Building and Noyes Laboratory of Chemistry

Bus Stop: The Natural History Building (top) and Noyes Lab (bottom) are separated by the oldest bus stop on campus.

Heading west toward the Quad, the Natural History Building is on your right, toward the north. This is the home of the Department of Geology and many of the classrooms and labs for the life sciences, including Integrative and Molecular & Cellular Biology. A few classes offered in this building include "Geology of the Natural Parks" and "Natural Disasters."

Noyes Laboratory of Chemistry is on your left, toward the south, and is home to the School of Chemical Sciences, composed of the Departments of Physical, Organic, & Analytical Chemistry. It was once the largest building in the country devoted solely to Chemical research.

Where to next?

Continue west until you reach the Main Quad. At that point turn left and head south to begin your loop around the Quad perimeter.

The Main Quad

The Main Quad

Quad Day: Just before the start of each school year, student organizations fill the Quad to get new members.

The Main Quad is the central hub for academic and campus life at Illinois. The Illini Union is located on the north end; Foellinger Auditorium is on the south end. Many of the most notable landmarks on campus can be found on or around the Main Quad. Head south to continue the tour.

Where to next?

Turn left here and head south down the east edge of the Main Quad. The first building on the corner is Noyes Laboratory of Chemistry. The next building on your left is the Chemistry Annex.

Chemistry Annex

Chemistry Annex

Computers in Chemistry: Computers in the Chem Annex allow you to simulate labs online before attempting them in the classroom.

As you head south, the Chemistry Annex will be on your left. The Chemistry Annex houses the Chemistry Learning Center, a Chemistry Help Room and computer lab, which has tutors available throughout the day to assist students with homework. Computers in this Center allow you to simulate labs online before attempting them in the classroom.

Here's something fun...With 31,209 undergraduate students on this campus from 50 states and over 100 countries you might think there are too many people to count, but actually we think there might be more squirrels on campus than students. Start your squirrel count now and the person with the most "sightings" at the end of the tour wins!

Where to next?

Continue south on the Quad. The next building on your left is Davenport Hall.

Davenport Hall

Davenport Hall

Agriculture?: Davenport Hall used to be home to the College of Agriculture, hence the title on the front of the building.

Davenport Hall is home to the Departments of Anthropology and Geography. When the building was home to the College of Agriculture, the first level was used as a stock pavilion (the smell was relocated to the South Farms for the benefit of all students).

Note the Illini Super Sweet Corn Historical Marker near the entrance to Davenport Hall. Read the bronze plaque or use a QR reader on your Smartphone to watch a video clip about this campus scientific advancement.

Where to next?

Continue south on the Quad. The next building on your left is the Foreign Language Building.

Foreign Language Building

Foreign Language Building

Rumor Has It: The Foreign Language Building has a unique structure since it originally housed a super computer and was built to collapse away from its center.

The Foreign Language Building is the youngest building on the quad (built in 1968). It is home to 8 language departments, as well as the departments of Theology, Linguistics, and Classical Civilizations. From Arabic to Zulu you can choose from 33 Languages other than English.

Illinois also has a Living-Learning community in the Pennsylvania Avenue Residence Halls focused on making students feel at home here but also challenging and motivating students whose aspirations have a strong international component, including international majors/minors, interest in international internships, study abroad or international work or service.

Where to next?

Step in front of Foellinger Auditorium (the building on the south end of the Quad) before continuing further south.

Foellinger Auditorium

Foellinger Auditorium

Look Familiar?: Foellinger Auditorium was used in the the graduation scene of the movie "With Honors", starring Brendan Fraser and Joe Pesci.

Foellinger Auditorium, is the large, dome-shaped building at the south end of the Quad. It was completed in 1907 and resembles Thomas Jefferson's Rotunda on the University of Virginia campus. Seating 1,750 people, it is home to the largest lectures of 750 students on campus. Most classes on campus are much smaller, only 6% of 100-level classes have 100 students or more and 66% have 30 students or less. Other notable events at Foellinger include concerts and lecture series by famous speakers such as Ralph Nader, Patch Adams, Bill Gates, Sara Bareilles, Sean Austin, and the Mythbusters.

Here's something fun...Walk onto the lower patio of Foellinger and position yourself on the round medallion. When you face the building and whisper it should echo back to you. If it doesn't work, turn around, face and quad and yell I-L-L at the top of your lungs, you're sure to hear an echo of I-N-I from a student on the quad! GO ILLINI!

Here's some more fun...There's a Quad Cam positioned on the top of Foellinger Auditorium. You can take control of the Quad Cam online.

Where to next?

Get back on the east edge sidewalk and continue to head south, behind Foellinger Auditorium. The building just to the east, past the Foreign Language Building, is Smith Hall.

Smith Memorial Hall

Smith Hall

Heavy: There are 77 pianos on the top floor of Smith Hall. That's roughly 20 tons of weight!

As you head further south you will see Smith Memorial Hall on your left. Smith Memorial Hall is the final academic building on the southeast corner of the Quad. This building is one of the homes of the School of Music. There are 77 pianos on the top floor of this building, as well as 49 student practice rooms. If you play the piano, make sure to stop in and play a romantic piece for Captain Thomas J. Smith. He dedicated this Beaux-Arts architecture style building to the memory of the love his life, Tina Weedon Smith, with the hope that it would "in a measure bless mankind."

Where to next?

Continue walking south behind Foellinger Auditorium, until you get to the brick patio area.

Undergraduate Library and Morrow Plots

Undergraduate Library and Morrow Plots

A Flat Scene: The Undergrad Library (top) is built underground as to not cast a shadow on the Morrow Plots (bottom).

Straight ahead you'll see the Undergraduate Library (it is underground; entrances are located to your left and right). Further off to the east, you'll see the Morrow Plots. The library was built two stories underground so as not to cast a shadow on the Morrow Plots. The longest-running experimental cornfield in the Western Hemisphere, the Morrow Plots was named a National Historical Landmark in 1968. The Undergraduate Library is one of the most popular places on campus, open 24 hours, Sunday-Friday, with daytime hours on Saturday. There are group study and quiet areas, as well as computers, printers, laptop rentals, DVD collections, a gaming station, and a coffee shop. Take a virtual tour of the Undergraduate Library online.

Here's something fun...The only thing better than a cornfield is a great song about our cornfield. Our premier a cappella group on campus, "The Other Guys," perform a Morrow Plot song. If you have a singing talent, play an instrument, compete in a sport, like to jump out of planes, enjoy the month of October or just like to eat Barbeque (the Grillini!) we have over 1,100 student organizations waiting for you!

Where to next?

Before returning to the Main Quad, step off the brick patio to the west and take note of the Main Library.

Main Library

Main Library

Treasure Inside: The rare book room in the Main Library houses a copy of the Gutenberg Bible, the first major book printed with a movalbe type printing press.

The Main Library is the building west of the Undergraduate Library. It is where the University houses more than 11 million books and materials. It draws the best faculty in their field and gives our students an unparalleled research advantage. In total, we have over 40 libraries, creating the largest public academic library system in the world.

If you like a challenge, enter the Main Library and find the underground tunnel that connects with the Undergraduate Library. This is where many students choose to study. There's also a coffee shop located there.

Where to next?

Head north back toward the Main Quad, this time walking the west edge. The first building on your left is Gregory Hall.

Gregory Hall

Gregory Hall

Gregory Hall Movies: Movies are shown most Friday and Saturday nights in 117 Gregory Hall.

Gregory Hall was named after the first president of the University of Illinois: John Milton Gregory, who is actually buried outside Altgeld Hall (a building you'll see later on this tour). Gregory Hall houses the Departments of History and Philosophy and the College of Media. On Friday and Saturday nights, the Illini Union Board, a student programming organization responsible for programming activities at the University, arranges for the showing of movies in 117 Gregory Hall.

Note the Freedom of the Press Historical Marker near the entrance to Gregory Hall. Use a QR reader on your smartphone to watch a video clip about this campus scientific advancement.

Here's something fun...Roger Ebert, an alumnus of the College of Media, attended many of his classes in Gregory Hall. Each year, he returns to Champaign to host the famed "Overlooked Film Festival" in conjunction with the Virginia Theatre.

Where to next?

Continue heading north back toward the Main Quad. The next building on your left is Lincoln Hall.

Lincoln Hall

Lincoln Hall

Good Luck: If you're taking an exam in Lincoln Hall, make sure to rub Lincoln's nose for good luck.

Lincoln Hall, on your left, is a memorial to Abraham Lincoln, with quotes from the former president on the sides of the building, a copy of the Gettysburg address in the front entrance, and a bust of Lincoln at the foot of the stairs to Lincoln Theatre. Rumor has it that rubbing his nose before an exam brings good luck. Currently, Lincoln Hall is closed for renovations, but it is expected to reopen in fall 2012 as one of the nation's "greenest" and most "wired" classroom buildings. Once reopened, Lincoln Hall will hold the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) administrative offices, as well as the Departments of Communication, Political Science, and Sociology.

Where to next?

Continue heading north, but look off to your left in between Lincoln Hall and the English Building for the Eternal Flame sculpture.

The Eternal Flame

Eternal Flame

Good or Bad: Kiss your special someone under the Eternal Flame and discover if it's good luck or back luck.

The pillar you see to your left, between Lincoln Hall and the English Building, is the Eternal Flame, a gift from the graduating class of 1912. Formerly an ever-burning oil lamp, with the saying "a lovers kiss will bring eternal bliss" kissing your sweetheart under the flame meant your love would last forever. Now, the electric light tends to flicker on and off, so students have changed the myth: lovers who kiss underneath the flame are doomed to an on and off relationship. Kiss your special someone here and find out!

Where to next?

Continue heading north on the Main Quad. The next building on your left is the English Building.

English Building

English Building

Ghost Stories: Whether or not you plan writing any ghost stories in the English building, one already exists.

The English Building is home to the Departments of English, Rhetoric, and Business and Technical Writing. Originally, it was the Women's Building – a self-contained unit with classrooms, dormitories, and a pool in the basement. Legend has it that a woman drowned in the 1940's and to this day, her ghost still haunts the English Building. We'll meet you in the English Building after dark this evening.

Where to next?

Continue heading north. The next building on your left is the Henry Administrative Building.

Henry Administrative Building

Henry

New York Style: The ground floor of the Henry Administration Building resembles the Empire State Building.

Upon first glance, you might notice that the ground floor of the Henry Administration Building resembles the Empire State Building. In fact, the Empire State Building was created over 20 years later! The Henry Administration Building contains many administrative departments and offices, as well as various discussion classrooms.

Where to next?

Continue heading north, around the west side of the Illini Union, the large building at the north end of the Main Quad. The stone building just to the west with the large tower is Altgeld Hall.

Altgeld Hall

Altgeld Hall

Two Towers: There are two bell towers on campus: Altgeld Hall and the bell tower on the South Quad.

Altgeld Hall is the building just to your left. It is home to the Math and Actuarial Sciences departments, and was the former home of the pink limestone library and the College of Law.

Altgeld is also home to the original bell tower on campus. Automated chimes ring every fifteen minutes, in addition to a special lunchtime concert. Due to the size of the tower, two notes are missing from the chimes: D# and F were chosen to be left out because they are not in the U of I fight songs! A post office is also located on the first floor.

Here's something fun...Get lost in Altgeld Hall. There are 20 levels in this building. Good luck!

Where to next?

Head northwest on the sidewalk toward the Alma Mater statue.

Alma Mater

Alma Mater

Photo Time: The Alma Mater statue is the most photographed spot on campus.

The statue north of Altgeld Hall is the Alma Mater; it was sculpted by the world-famous sculptor and University of Illinois alumnus Lorado Taft. It represents the University's motto, "Learning and Labor" by portraying two figures on each side clasping hands; the Alma Mater welcomes her children with outstretched arms. The inscription at the base of the statue reads:"To thy happy children of the future those of the past send greetings." The Alma Mater is the most photographed place on campus, and is also one of the most school-spirited. "Alma" frequently dresses up for special events like homecoming, big games, snow days, and graduation!

Here's something fun...It seems fitting that Illinois is the Home to the "Homecoming" tradition. Since 1910, one of the earliest recorded Homecoming events took place right here on the Illinois campus. In 2010 the whole University family marked 100 years of welcoming alumni back to campus once a year. Beginning in 2006, Homecoming has been enhanced by iHelp, a day during homecoming activities when over 1,000 students complete service work in the community to celebrate!

Where to next?

Continue to head northwest on the sidewalk to the intersection of Green and Wright. This is Campustown.

Campustown

Campustown

Food and Fun: Campustown is home to shops, bookstores, restaurants, and much more.

Green Street is the main line of Campustown. It's the students' favorite area to grab a bite to eat on campus. Restaurants here offer cuisine from all over the world, and the three campus bookstores sell the textbooks you need and the Illini gear you can't live without!

Where to next?

Head back toward the Alma Mater statue and then head directly east to go to the north entrance of the Illini Union (the large building behind the statue).

Illini Union

Illini Union

Student Central: The Illini Union is a popular destination for students. In fact, 20,000 students pass through it each day!

The Illini Union is the large American Georgian building at the North end of the Quad. It was dedicated as a "building which would be not only a distinguished social center, but also to inspire those who use it with the best traditions" and over the years it has accomplished that goal.

The Union is the most popular student "hangout" on campus, and contains a Food Court, Bowling Alley and Billiard Room in the basement. It also houses reading rooms, the McKinley Health Center Oasis, the Courtyard Café, an Art Gallery, Registered Student Organization Offices, a branch of the University of Illinois Credit Union and a hotel. An average of 20,000 students go through this building each day.

Where to next?

This is the last stop on your tour. You can walk through the Illini Union to get back to the Main Quad. From there head back east to return to the Admissions and Records building.


 
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