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The Lincoln Hall Project « College of Liberal Arts & Sciences « University of Illinois

Lincoln Hall Project

Renovation Fact Sheet


What led to the renovation?
Lincoln Hall has been in disrepair for many years. On July 13, 2009, the Illinois state legislature approved funding to renovate the structure.
What will the renovation include?
Key architectural features will be retained or restored, including:
• Lincoln Hall Theater
• East (Quad-side) marble foyer
• Quotes, medallion portraits, and scenes from the life of Lincoln on the exterior walls
Lincoln Hall Theater will be restored to its original colors and will receive a new stage curtain. The seating will be made ADA accessible.
The rest of the interior space will be largely gutted and reorganized. The renovation will provide new wiring and equipment for “smart” technology in classrooms, and mechanical and electrical upgrades, including air conditioning, new plumbing, and life safety issues. An informal gathering place for students and staff will be a new feature created out of a unique area under Lincoln Hall Theater that was once a smoking lounge.
Lincoln Hall is classified as eligible for the National Register of Historic Buildings and all renovations will be conducted as if it were already on the list.
Will classroom space remain the same in the renovated structure?
All classrooms are being relocated to the first floor instead of being spread out over three floors, as they currently are.  In doing so, the campus will actually gain classroom square footage even as the actual number of classrooms decreases from 21 to 18, eliminating undersized classrooms. All new classrooms will accommodate a minimum of 32 students and will be large enough to allow for flexible seating and teaching styles. The largest classrooms, excluding Lincoln Hall Theater, will accommodate 101 students.
How much will the renovation cost?
The current total project cost is $66,400,000 of which the State is providing $60,304,000 and the University has committed $6,096,000. Funds were released by the state in December 2009, and the project went out for bids in January 2010. The project contract was awarded to Williams Brothers Construction, Inc. of Peoria on March 2 by the Capital Development Board.
How long will the renovation last?
The project began at the end of March in 2010 and is expected to be complete in time for the start of classes in fall of 2012.
Where did the departments and offices move to?
The departments and administrative offices have been relocated in many places.
New department locations:
• Communication, 1207 W. Oregon St., Urbana
• Political Science, 605 E. Springfield Ave., Champaign
• Sociology, 605 E. Springfield Ave., Champaign
New LAS Administrative Offices locations:
• Office of the Dean & Student Academic Affairs Office, 605 E. Springfield Ave., Champaign
• LAS New Student Advising, 106 English Building
• LAS Honors Programs, 1001 S. Wright St., Champaign
• Access and Achievement & Transition Programs, 112 English Building (permanent relocation)
• International Programs, 703 S. Wright St., Champaign
What departments and units will move back into Lincoln Hall?
The Department of Communication, the Department of Sociology, and several LAS administrative offices, including Student Academic Affairs and the Dean's Office, will return to Lincoln Hall (about 250 people).
What impact did the closing have on campus?
The impact was significant because classes had to be relocated beginning in fall of 2008. Alternate venues include Smith Music Hall, the College of Business classrooms, and Foellinger Auditorium. Lincoln Hall has been the second-most used classroom building on campus with 350 class sections held there each semester. Before it closed, nearly every student who had attended U of I had taken a class in this building.
The University wants the renovated Lincoln Hall to achieve LEED certification. What does that mean?
The U.S. Green Building Council created the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System in 1998 to encourage environmentally sustainable buildings. Planners hope to obtain a “gold” level certification at Lincoln Hall through measures such as installing low-flow water fixtures and new heating and ventilation systems, using low-emitting paints, sealants, carpets and wood, adding individual lighting and heating controls, using recycled and regionally manufactured building materials, creating shade to reduce the exterior’s “heat island” effect, and other measures.

LEED Gold is the University standard for its building projects, effective 2010, which is an example of the campus's commitment to sustainability. LEED Gold exceeds the governmental building code requirements for minimum energy efficiency.
When was Lincoln Hall built?
The Illinois state legislature appropriated $250,000 for the building in 1909 and construction began in 1910. Lincoln Hall opened for classes in fall of 1911. It was dedicated on Feb. 12, 1913.
Has it ever been expanded?
Yes, once, in 1929. A $500,000 expansion more than doubled its size. The north and south wings were extended west, to Wright Street, and workers added the Lincoln Hall Theater.
How big is it now?
Lincoln Hall has 107,447 net square feet in four stories, plus a basement. Its rectangular shape is 228 feet on its west and east (Quad-side) fronts, and 197 feet on its north and south sides. The wings enclose a central courtyard that is primarily occupied by Lincoln Hall Theater.
What are some of Lincoln Hall’s architectural features?
Lincoln Hall has 10 scenic panels from the life of Lincoln on the east (Quad) exterior side. On the north and south sides it has 20 quotes (10 on each side) from Lincoln’s speeches and letters. Half the quotes were added in the 1929 expansion. The original 10 quotes (five on each side) are each flanked by two medallion portraits (20 portraits in all) of men who played prominent roles in Lincoln’s life. There are also at least 69 owl figures adorning the building.
Inside, the east foyer and dual staircase are made of marble. The bust of Lincoln, by Hermon Atkins MacNeil, overlooks the foyer. The Gettysburg Address is mounted on the south wall of the foyer.


Contact Information

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College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
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Champaign, IL 61820
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