The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

April 13, 2014

Archway touches alum's heart

Thanks to divine intervention and impossible Irish luck, I got into the University of Illinois, and graduated. I have a diploma, even.

Like most alumni, I return to campus now and then. I revisit certain buildings and am awestruck by how young the students are. That was me, 40 years ago.

I walk through the Illini Union, then proceed down the Quad to places I knew: Lincoln Hall, recently restored to its original splendor; Davenport Hall, once the College of Agriculture; and Gregory Hall, home to the journalism school.

I spent most of my time in gloomy Gregory Hall, taking notes, attending lectures and pounding manual typewriters.

But one of my favorite campus landmarks isn’t a building … it’s a tiny part of a building. It is the “Hallene Gateway,” which consists of the sandstone columns and archway that once formed the front entrance to Main Hall.

From 1873 until 1938, Main Hall — also called “University Hall” and the “Main Building” — stood just south of where the Illini Union now stands.

Four stories tall, 214 feet long and 112 feet high, Main Hall was the bustling hub of the U of I. Every student had classes in it and its façade symbolized the university.

Built of red brick, with stone trim and a Mansard roof, Main Hall had 60 large rooms, including lecture halls, classrooms, reading rooms, labs, museums, libraries and a chapel. For decades, it was filled with the voices and footsteps of students, the click of chalk on blackboards … and dreams, dreams, dreams.

By 1938, Main Hall was showing its age. When a classroom ceiling fell, the decision was made to demolish the whole building. Today’s Colonial-style Illini Union followed.

Fortunately, someone saved the front entranceway to Main Hall, which includes the stone slab that features the university motto: “Learning and Labor.”

Text Only
Local News
  • Children’s play set for weekend

    July 23, 2014

  • Westville council limits parking on two streets

    Village trustees approved an ordinance Tuesday night to restrict parking on two village streets.

    July 23, 2014

  • Children’s show auditions set

    July 23, 2014

  • Police, Fire Reports

    July 23, 2014

  • Veedersburg council to replace air conditioner at city hall

    Town council members learned Tuesday the air conditioning system at the town hall and fire station needs to be replaced.

    July 23, 2014

  • Health Overhaul Subsi_Morr.jpg Courts split on health law clash WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s health care law is snarled in another big legal battle, with two federal appeals courts issuing contradictory rulings on a key financing issue within hours of each other Tuesday.But the split rulings don’t necess

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Robbery suspect gets 13 years DANVILLE — A man accused of robbing the Oakwood adult book store earlier this year was sentenced Monday to prison.Joel Frazier, 28, of Danville, appeared in Vermilion County Circuit Court on Monday on three separate cases. He was sentenced to a total

    July 23, 2014

  • Police Report Incidents reported to police include:DanvilleFriday:Theft in the 1100 block of Meadow Street.Saturday:Theft in the 800 block of East Madison Street.SaturdayCriminal damage, attempted battery and aggravated discharge of a firearm in the 500 block of S

    July 23, 2014

  • Fire Calls Firefighters responded to the following calls:Monday, 9:59-11:05 a.m. — A natural gas leak at 22 S. Kansas Ave.Monday, 12:36-12:47 p.m. — A medical call in the 1200 block of Cleveland Street.Monday, 1:52-2:58 p.m. — A natural gas leak at 22 S. Kansas

    July 23, 2014

  • State's attorney drops murder charges DANVILLE — Murder charges filed against a Danville man were dropped Monday during Vermilion County Circuit Court proceedings.The Vermilion County State’s Attorney’s Office motioned to drop the charges of first-degree murder filed against Edward Woodf

    July 23, 2014

E-edition
Spring 2014 Photos


Buy these photos and more via Smugmug

AP Video
Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel
NDN Video
LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB'
Must Read