Natural History Building

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Natural History Building
NaturalHistoryBuilding Urbana Illinois 4555.jpg
Natural History Building is located in Illinois
Natural History Building
Natural History Building is located in the United States
Natural History Building
Location1301 W. Green St., Urbana, Illinois
Coordinates40°6′34″N 88°13′33″W / 40.10944°N 88.22583°W / 40.10944; -88.22583Coordinates: 40°6′34″N 88°13′33″W / 40.10944°N 88.22583°W / 40.10944; -88.22583
Arealess than one acre
Built1892 (1892)
ArchitectRicker, Nathan Clifford
Architectural styleHigh Victorian Gothic
MPSUniversity of Illinois Buildings by Nathan Clifford Ricker TR
NRHP reference #86003147[1]
Added to NRHPNovember 9, 1986

The Natural History Building is a historic building on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign in Urbana, Illinois. Built in 1892, the building originally housed the university's departments of botany, zoology, and geology. In addition to classroom space, the building also included a natural history museum.[2] Architect Nathan Clifford Ricker designed the High Victorian Gothic building. The red brick building has a rough stone foundation and is decorated with colored brick and stone. The steep roof is supported by a timber truss system; the exposed trusses create a coffered ceiling on the interior.[3]

The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 9, 1986.[1] In 2010, it was evacuated due to structural deficiencies. After an extensive, $79 million renovation, it reopened in August of 2017[4] and now houses the School of Earth, Society, and Environment (SESE) including the Departments of Atmospheric Sciences, Geology and Geography and Geographic Information systems, as well as teaching space for the School of Integrated Biology (SIB).

In 2019, the building received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold status for its renovation being conducted in an environmentally efficient manner, which included using renewable materials, utilizing energy-efficient techology, and focusing on natural lighting.[5]


  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. ^ "Campus Landmarks". University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. Archived from the original on August 19, 2014. Retrieved August 18, 2014.
  3. ^ Cassens, Amy L.; Garner, David J.; Johnson, Bret F.; Stein, Janice A. "National Register of Historic Places Inventory – Nomination Form: Natural History Building" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved August 18, 2014.
  4. ^ Jones Toal, Samantha. "Renovated: The Natural History Building reopens". University of Illinois College of LAS. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  5. ^ Paeth, Abby. "Natural History Building recognized by U.S. Green Building Council". University of Illinois College of LAS. Retrieved 21 February 2019.