Northwestern University Lakefill

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The Technological Institute in 1977, after the construction of the Lakefill. Lindheimer Observatory is at top.

The Northwestern University Lakefill is a large area of campus land that was reclaimed from Lake Michigan in 1962-1964 by creating a seawall of limestone blocks quarried in Illinois and Indiana and using landfill materials from the construction of the Port of Indiana. The Lakefill resulted from the university's need to expand the campus's physical footprint; Northwestern President J. Roscoe Miller received permission from the town of Evanston and the Illinois legislature (as well as many other groups) to reclaim 74 acres (30 hectares) of underwater land. In 1968, The Lakefill was expanded by an additional 10 acres on the southern end of the campus.[1][2]

As solid ground was established, Northwestern began the construction of the Northwestern University Library, the Norris University Center and the Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, all built from 1970-1975.

In recent years, the lakefill has grown to include the Henry Crown Sports Pavilion and Norris Aquatics Center, also known as SPAC (for Sports Pavilion and Aquatics Center). Numerous paths intersect through the lakefill, providing an ideal route for walkers and joggers. Certain points along the lakefill shore allow for a clear view of Chicago.


  1. ^ "Northwestern Architecture: The Lakefill". Northwestern University Archives. Retrieved 21 March 2016. 
  2. ^ Pridmore, Jay (2000). Northwestern University: Celebrating 150 Years. Northwestern University Press. p. 200. ISBN 9780810118294.