Things we love about Illinois: The Armory

(Photo courtesy of Illio 2014/UI Archives)
One of our favorite things about our favorite institution of higher education.

The Armory

A marvel of early 20th Century engin-eering, UI’s 98-foot-tall, 80,000-square-foot Armory was designated the largest structure in the world without a central support upon completion in 1914. Instead, it is supported by three-hinged arches weighing 36 tons apiece. The Armory has played a similarly weighty role in UI history, both as home base for ROTC students and “registration central” before computers supplanted this notoriously chaotic and frustrating exercise. Enormous but accommodating, the building houses a track for walkers and runners, in addition to classrooms and offices. For the dramatically inclined, Armory Free Theatre showcases avant-garde work by young Illinois playwrights when the clock strikes midnight.

Did we miss one? For more in this series, search “Things we love about Illinois.”