1212 W. Springfield Ave., University High School
Architect: Hollabird and Roche Year Built: 1917 Architectural Style: Late Gothic Revival
|1212 W. Springfield is a Late Gothic Revival building designed by Hollabird and Roche. Construction began in 1917 and was completed in 1921. The building is home to University High School. The large building has a heavy appearance and is constructed of smooth limestone. The style of the building can be narrowed down to Collegiate Gothic. The building is essentially symmetrical and has a long, thin, rectangular plan. University High has a steeply-pitched gable roof with a copper lantern positioned in the center of the roof. A balustrade lines the cornice of the roof. The east and west façades are divided vertically into five bays, where some project farther out than others. On the east façade, groups of four tall, thin square casement windows are arranged horizontally along each bay. The two end bays on the east and west facades have two-story oriel windows projecting from the wall surface. The west façade is articulated with groups of tall, thin, rounded arch windows divided by limestone muntins. An entrance bay on the west façade is very ornate and has a recessed rounded arch entrance flanked by groups of two monolithic columns supporting a classical entablature, cornice, and limestone urns. The north and south facades are the short facades and have a three-story protruding bay window. The main entrances are below a rounded arch. The rounded arch is flanked by monolithic classical columns supporting an entablature, a classical cornice, and decorative urns. Rounded arch windows divided by limestone muntins make up the wall surface of the bay windows on the north and south facades. At the very top of the bay window on the north and south façades is a rectangular window with a characteristic Gothic label mold.|
|The design for University High School were initially rejected. After months of deliberation the plans were approved and built as originally designed. However, only 20 years later, in 1943, efforts were taken to build a new College of Education practice school two blocks north of the current site. The following year the College of Education released a study highlighting the inadequate gymnasium and auditorium facilities. At that time, a new plan was circulated to build a 225,000 sq. ft. facility north of Illini Grove that would house a nursery school, kindergarten, elementary, middle and high school. This plan never materialized beyond the agreement to transfer the Kenney Gym to Uni. Today, at over 90 years old, Uni High continues as an innovative and experiemntal independent laboratory high school education students from Champaign, Urbana and neighboring towns.|
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