Roosevelt University has broken ground on a 32-story academic building that will be the second tallest university building in the country and the sixth tallest in the world. A unique vertical campus, it will have classrooms, laboratories, offices, dorm rooms, a dining hall, fitness facilities and student services all under one roof. Roosevelt is not just constructing a building; it is creating a great university experience.
The construction of this building coincides with a general revitalization of the Wabash Street corridor. Once a dank, foreboding side street lined with seedy dives and abandoned buildings, in 2007 the City of Chicago began a program of turning it into a bright, airy, lively center of commerce and transportation. This building is the perfect complement.
Its festive angles and glass facade add to the formerly darkened streetscape below. It also replaced a time-ravaged 18-story building and a surface parking lot, neither of which contributed much to the neighborhood.
At 32 stories, it is the tallest educational building in Chicago and a prominent symbol of Roosevelt University in an area crowded with urban colleges of varying pedigrees. While its function is utilitarian, its form is certainly a statement by the University (merely a College just months before the announcement) that it is a major player in midwestern education. The students who live and learn in this building can be proud of the structure.